Always on the cutting edge, Google is once again venturing into a new area of tech – virtual real estate, to be exact. Google has obtained a patent to secure advertising space within its Maps Street View feature, opening up a whole new world of internet advertising.
In the online reality game Second Life, users are able to buy ad space and even entire buildings, for use in their virtual world. Essentially, Google will bring this feature into the real world (i.e. Street View). If you use the Street View feature now, you see the ads, billboards, and other ad spaces from years ago. Google will use these existing ad spaces on Google Maps and sell banner advertisements to overlay them. Web users using Street View will see these ads instead. With all of the additional features that come with Maps application, it only seems natural for Google to move in this direction.
Google has the capabilities to incorporate advertising because it can leverage AdSense to monetize existing apps. For competitor MapQuest to offer a similar option would be difficult, as they don’t have Street View technology, nor a comparable ad network. While MapQuest has partnered with certain hoteliers such as Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn, and Best Western to promote their locations on their map, it’s unlikely they’d be able to sell ad space in a way Google will be able to. Google’s extensive user base is also unmatched, and it would be difficult for MapQuest to generate revenues comparable to Google’s successful AdSense network.
Google’s AdSense program has revolutionized online advertising, and become a revenue-generating powerhouse. Now, Google will be able to take it one step further to monetize one of their most successful applications. This move could have much greater implications for the future, and is most likely a sign that Google will start monetizing many of other widely used applications in a similar way.
The tech giant already has powerful analytics tools to measure internet user consumption. This information is invaluable, especially to online advertisers. With the introduction of this new advertising venture, any business can get in on the action, and use this technology to their advantage. Google will most likely make these opportunities as beneficial to the advertisers as possible, by incorporating location-based searches to target users more effectively, and offering pay-per-click ads, so even the smallest...