Google Introduces Expandable Map Ads For Mobile

At Google I/O Google VP Vic Gundotra and his co-presenters showcased a dizzying array of announcements and products to come. Included among them was Google’s iTunes competitor, soon to come to market, and well as a range of new richer mobile ad formats.

Those new mobile ad formats have been gradually rolling out. This morning Google is bringing out another one, called expandable map ads.

I spoke yesterday with Surojit Chatterjee, Senior Product Manager, Mobile Ads about the new format. The unit will show the consumer a nearby location for the advertiser’s business. It will also allow users to get directions and call the advertiser — all initiated from within the ad.

Here’s mock up of what it will look like:

These ads will appear on the mobile web and in apps. To utilize these ads advertisers must enable location extensions and be opted in to the content network for mobile.

Google said that it’s using IP address (for now) for the location targeting rather than cell tower/WiFi triangulation or GPS. Over time more precise mechanisms will be brought to bear on the location element.

Advertisers may also include an icon/logo or if there is none, Google will provide a default image.

The company isn’t charging for map expansion or directions. Advertisers will only be charged for calls or clicks through to the site/landing page behind the banner.

I didn’t ask Google whether it would be tracking (and potentially reporting) directions lookups, as it does to small businesses when people request directions to locations via Places listings (formerly the LBC).

Chatterjee explained that this was merely the next in a series of rich ad units — he called them a “bouquet of expandables” — that Google will be offering to advertisers on mobile devices.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Google: AdSense | Google: Maps & Local | Google: Mobile

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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