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.
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”)
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,
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.