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Google Maps – Could It Be The Next Revenue Mammoth For Them

If you are reading this, we are 100% sure that you have used Google at least once in your lifetime. If you are already a Digital Marketer, you must have used it’s product Google Ads which shows ads either on search pages or partner sites.

Around 68% of Google’s total revenue comes from Adwords. Though Google is already much profitable company with yearly revenue of about 136.22 billion US dollars. Now, Google has decided to level up their game and increase their revenues. “There’s a big opportunity for them to ramp up monetization,” said Andy Taylor, associate director of research at digital marketing agency Merkle. “They’ve been slow-playing it.”

Google Maps which is serving more than 1 Billion people whose uses it for different purposes like exploring nearby ATM’s, to commute or to explore new cities. Google maps have been mostly free since it’s inception i.e. Around 14 years ago. Google is making it available for advertisers to reach maps users & raising prices for the API which is used by different brands as their underlying technologies like OLA, Uber etc.

“Sometimes I say the most under-monetized asset that I cover is Google Maps,” Brian Nowak, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, said while interviewing Google’s business chief Philipp Schindler at a recent conference. “It’s almost like a utility where it’s kind of waiting for you to flip the switch on.”

The app will now show sponsored locations & paid listings for nearby services & businesses. This could be a trump card in increasing their empire. Google though profitable still knows that they can’t last forever with playing the same tricks. Overloading the existing revenue sources with commercial content can lead to a worse experience which is not likely by them. While Maps is still totally new territory to explore the possibilities, experiment with data & indeed earn.

Google might have to face a few regulatory obstacles which are increasing as people are starting to care about their data and privacy. Europe has hit them on the grounds of violating competition laws and there has been an increase in issues with Google’s data collection, privacy standards and ads business. After all, this, generating revenue from a source with contains pretty sensitive info could invite even more issues for them.

Schindler stressed that Google would generate personalized Maps recommendations in “privacy-sensitive, opt-in ways.”

The data would include everything right from where you live, where you go, where you like to eat, at what time, what are your interests and this is so much data. Adding more relevant data on maps would lead people to spend more time on the maps with expectations for more where they could put sponsored content.

“We want to be able to highlight things that are around you and surface them nearby to you in a way that’s not disrupting your experience,” says Rajas Moonka, director of product management for Google Maps.

Google’s focus from the starting has been on user experience and they don’t want to ruin that by just aggressively placing ads but by placing them in a way that would add to a better and personalized experience. Something like what Google started for big brands Instead of “turn right on bakhtawar chowk,” the app sometimes says “turn right at the Dunkin Donuts.” which actually enhances the experience and adds sponsored content as well.

“We’ve been pretty careful about not being very aggressive about how we present those to users because we don’t want users to feel like we’re overloading the experience,” Moonka – a Google veteran says.

Moonka added, “It’s very un-targeted, and that’s the most effective channel that most people have to convey information to you,” he says. “There is an opportunity here to do this in a way that’s really tailored to the user in the long run.”

This could also be great for Auto & retail industries as we discussed in our previous post. Small businesses can get access to promoted pins as part of a package of ads. Ads can also be found for searches like “pharmacy near me”. Google has been raising their prices for the maps API from quite nothing to thousands of dollars & adding sponsored content to it which could be risky steps for them.

Before the changes, Owczarek’s startup got 750,000 free map views a month and then was charged 50 cents for every 1,000 views for more than the limit. Then Google started charging after 30,000 views and the cost went to $7 per 1,000 views. His costs jumped from almost zero to $5,000 a month.

“They’re not reasonably priced, they’re completely out in space,” Owczarek says. He’s found another provider and is wary of using other Google products in the future. “You don’t expect them to pull the carpet from beneath you.”

One thing you can be sure about is that for digital marketers there is a lot of good news which is on the way and now you know about it. If you could leverage it at the right time, it can even increase your revenue too. Maps are google’s next big thing for creating profits. For being profitable stay tuned to us, we will let you know about all the great and new things by which you could be benefitted.

Keep exploring & keep Uppskilling.

Sayonara, Keep exploring because #RuknaTohHaiHiNahi

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