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Google has switched on another search-related ad revenue source, this time on Google Maps.
Some searches, such as those for taxi, restaurant, or hotel, show a blue-background text ad along the bottom of the Google Maps page. Given that anyone at the site is using a map, this is an opportunity for Google to employ a strong geographic influence in its ad targeting algorithm, and in general, the better targeted an ad is, the more effective and costly it is.
The results vary according to what the user sees on the map; for example, searching for "notary Kansas City" shows no ad, but centering the map on Kansas City then searching for "notary" does. Likewise, "shoe store San Francisco" shows results but "shoe store" while looking at San Francisco doesn't. Presumably this behavior will change according to what keywords advertisers bid on.
[edited by: tedster at 3:14 am (utc) on Oct. 10, 2008]