Google Maps - Wading Through a Sea of Franchise Logos?

Google has rolled out ads within the maps in Google Maps Japan -- shape of things to come?

Ads in Google Maps, TokyoHat tip to my colleague Chris Smith for pointing out that Google has rolled out ads within Google Maps Japan.

It looks like the ads were just contextual based on the location, rather than being from a restaurant-specific search (although I don't read Japanese so I can't tell what the query was).

To me this looks very busy. And I'd imagine the ad density clutter will only get worse over time.

Perhaps Google feels that Japanese users of Google Maps will be more tolerant of the ads and the busier interface? Or perhaps this is the shape of things to come for all us Google Maps users.

Personally I hope it's not the latter. I would not be happy having to wade through a sea of franchise logos whenever I use Google Maps. Honestly I could care less where all the local McDonald's, 7Elevens, AM/PMs, etc. all are.

Tech Culture
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    Search engine optimization expert Stephan Spencer shares late-breaking SEO tools, tips, trends, resources, news and insights. Stephan is the founder and president of Netconcepts, a web agency specializing in search engine optimized ecommerce. Clients include Discovery Channel, AOL, Home Shopping Network, Verizon, and REI, to name a few. Stephan is a frequent speaker at Internet conferences around the globe. He is also a Senior Contributor to, a monthly columnist for Practical Ecommerce, and he's been a contributor to DM News, Multichannel Merchant, Catalog Success, Catalog Age, and others. Disclosure.


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