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Monday, March 22, 2010

Google Maps Testing: Sponsored Icons and Hotel Price Search

Posted by @ 7:33 pm
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There’s a couple of interesting tests running on Google maps at the moment which include new sponsored map icons and also prices for hotel listings on Google maps.

Sponsored Icons
The Google Australia blog has announced the launch of sponsored icons when browsing various businesses in Google maps. Google says this helps consumers recognise businesses more easily by depicting what the offline world looks like, and gives businesses a new way to stand out from the clutter.

Here’s an example of what the icons look like (see the listings for “Bankwest ATM” and JB Hi-Fi”)

map-icons

Hotel Price Listings
The second maps related test is the addition of prices for Hotel listings which will be visible to a small portion of users over the coming days. This feature will allow users to enter the dates they wish to travel and see prices from a list of advertisers for each hotel.

Here’s an example from Google’s blog post,

hotel-search

According to Google this new feature will not change the way hotels are ranked within Google maps.

If you’ve seen either of these tests in the wild, please leave a comment and let us know what you think.



Matthew Elshaw Matt is a marketing professional at ineedhits.com, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.

View Matthew Elshaw's profile






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