Google has quietly added contextual based text advertising to Google Maps.
The ads appear at the base of the map after a search. CNet explains:
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 ads would appear to be limited only by geographic availability and match, with Google currently unable to serve ads against every search entered, in every location. However, Google has switched on the ads globally, as the shot above of a Melbourne, Australia shows, they’re being shown anywhere there’s an ad match.