Monday, July 21, 2008

Improvements to Ads in the Maps API

Our Maps API team strives each day to develop features to help developers build the next generation of great maps mashups. One of the requests that we've received from our developer community is to build features that will help convert map traffic into revenue for their site. To that end, we've been working hard on improving the program that allows Maps API sites to choose to display Local Business Ads on their map as part of the AdSense for Content program. As with all Google ads products, we feel that success depends on providing ads that actually improve the user experience, while at the same time allowing businesses to reach their target audience.

Although we've had an ads program in the API for some time, this week, we are pleased to announce some key improvements to that system:

  • An improved user and advertiser experience. Ads now display "flat on the map," and we've introduced new more informative category icons. We've also built a system to "nudge" ads so they do not obscure key elements on the map. Check out an example of the new look and feel.
  • Improved coverage. We introduced GAdsManager last year, but didn't show many ads. Now, our coverage is much improved without impacting relevance. We also now show ads for all countries where the Local Business Ad format is supported. (For your ad to show up on API sites, you need to opt-in to the "Content Network.")
  • Continuous ad serving. You may have noticed that ads would not be refreshed when users panned the map, so your highly interactive Maps API site wouldn't be able to take advantage of the program. We've changed this. Ads are now loaded whenever the user moves the viewport to a new location.

We hope that these improvements will help you generate some revenue from your Maps API site and continue to make it better.

You can read more details about these changes on the Maps API Developer Forum or sign up for an AdSense account to get started.

NOTE: To be clear, this program has always been and remains completely opt-in for API users. You are under no obligation to display ads in order to use the Maps API. For more details see the Maps API Terms of Service.