Search is an exiting industry to be involved in right now and web marketing solutions just seem to get broader everyday. For every announcement surrounding the Yahoo-Bing merger, Google come out with a new innovation to ensure they remain in the spotlight and stay at least 5 steps ahead of the pack.
Google’s latest offering comes courtesy of Google Maps and is something that was first tested back in March on the Australian version of Google Maps. “Sponsored map icons” are points-of-interest displayed on a Google Maps search branded with company logos.
For instance, an ATM machine may no longer simply appear as just an ATM, it may well appear as an HSBC branded ATM, for example:
“Sponsored map icons” is in beta stage and will be tested using large brands such as Target, HSBC, Bank of America and Public Storage. If users respond well to the feature then it will be rolled out to further companies in due course. The feature is not to be confused with Google local ads whereby an advertiser pays for search query driven ads to show up in Google Maps. The logos are simply replacing some point-of-interest icons and the icons are not displayed according to the query you type into Google Maps.
Companies will not be charged on a CPC (Cost Per Click) model, but rather the CPM (Cost Per Impression) model. This is because users don’t need to perform a specific action to visit the location. Users will only pay when the logo is viewed by a user, and logos will be shown based on how popular the business is, the search volume, whether it has a Wikipedia entry and other relevant information – much like the way in which a search engine works. As far as web marketing solutions go this is a really cool idea that will help consumers identify with brands and mentally locate stores and places of interest on the high street. Hat off to a great Google innovation.