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GoogleApps_Sep11_CThere was a time when Google Maps was practically the only online map that users and companies used. Now, there are a number of competitors that are giving Google a run for their money. While these competitors are gaining steam, Google is still the better service with extra features like the ability to allow ads on your website’s map which can in turn earn you revenue. This useful feature has recently been beefed up with a few great new features that should cement Google’s lead.

Google’s Maps Ad Unit, a division of AdSense, is responsible for taking third party maps – those installed on websites not owned and operated by Google – and giving the company with the map on their website the ability to monetize it by placing ads to different services. When the ad on the map is clicked on, the company gains a part of the ad revenue. To make this function better, Google has integrated two new features, or as Google calls them: extensions.

A new form of links
The first extension introduces a new form of ad, the link unit. Instead of a direct ad, (an ad for another website or service, that when clicked will take you to that website), you can opt to show a list of topics that are related to the content of your website. The links take up less space when compared to direct ads, making this extension ideal for websites with smaller maps.

AdSense users should already be familiar with link units, as they have been part of the AdSense platform for a while now. The major difference with link units for Maps is that clicking the link will take the user to a modified search page with different links relating to the topic, not to the website directly linked to the topic as in AdSense.

Customize your ads
Until now, the ability to customize what exactly the ads look like on your map has been limited. With this update you will be able to change the layout of the ad along with the color scheme. Don’t like that ads show up in the center of the map? You can now change the location and size. You can also set a custom color scheme for the background, text, border, links and URL. This should allow you to set a scheme that compliments your site for example.

These changes bring some new features that help make Google Maps even more useful. If you’d like to integrate Maps Ad Unit, or maps into your website please get in touch with us, we can help.

Published on 11th September 2012 by Jeanne DeWitt.

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