Google is beginning to build ads into its Maps search results on iOS and Android. Starting today, when users search for general business types — such as a convenience store or a gardening shop — their very first result may be a business that’s paid to be lifted to the top. Such results will be clearly marked with a small “Ad” label, but they’ll otherwise operate just like a Maps search result normally would: swiping up on one will display more information about the company, and give users a quick way to call the business or get directions to its store.
Google says that it’ll only display promoted businesses when they happen to be relevant. Even so, if a user doesn’t catch on and chooses to go with the first result, they could end up driving a bit farther than necessary. It isn’t the first type of ads that have come to Google Maps, however. Google has long allowed businesses to promote themselves with highlighted results on the map itself, helping them stand out just a bit more amid of a sea of results.