Google Maps is an infinitely powerful tool. It’s free, provides turn-by-turn directions, accurate search results for points of interest and more. It might start to get a little more cluttered with ads, though.
SearchEngineLand published a couple of screenshots sent in by a reader that show new search results marked by purple pins instead of the standard red. These are marked as ads. One might search for a plumber, for example, and receive ads for plumbers in addition to nearby options. It doesn’t appear to be too annoying or malicious; the locations are accurate, and it will help some businesses populate their results right to the top.
— Ross @ Paid Insights (@paidinsights) April 23, 2016
But it seems to start to create a cluttered user experience – with multiple colors that are all, ultimately, providing the same result. Also, in one example you can see why someone wanted its business promoted as an ad – because it has just 1.6 stars, suggesting that the company probably doesn’t get much business from folks who are searching for highly rated options.
No word on when this will roll out to everyone, if ever, it’s simply in testing.