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Get ready for more ads on Google Maps

The search giant adds new ways for brands to lure people using its maps service. What this could mean for you: more stops at McDonald's during road trips.

Google Maps will start showing "promoted pins."


If you're going on a road trip this summer, you might have a kid in the backseat begging you to stop for McDonald's. If you use Google Maps, your kid might not be the only one prodding you to make that detour.

On Tuesday, the search giant unveiled a handful of new ways for brands to advertise on Google Maps. That includes showing people ads from, say, Shell or McDonald's -- trying to compel you to stop to fill up on gas, Quarter Pounders, whatever -- when you're using turn-by-turn navigation on your phone. The ad will show up at the bottom of the screen with a button that says "add stop?"

The changes are part of new efforts from Google to make more money off Google Maps, which has more than a billion users. The announcement comes just days after Google's annual I/O developers conference, when CEO Sundar Pichai laid out his plan for the company's future. He envisions Google touching every part of your life, helping you find everything from restaurants while you're traveling in the car to movies while you're loafing on the couch. Google Maps is a big part of that.

"Maps has changed fundamentally how we get around in the world," Jerry Dischler, vice president of product management for AdWords, Google's search ads service, said during a press briefing Monday.

Google also pointed out that people do "trillions" of searches a year on its search engine and that more than half of them come from phones and tablets. Of those mobile searches, nearly one-third have to do with location.

Another type of ad tries to take advantage of all that time people spend on phones. For example, if you search for a nearby electronics store, Google Maps can show you a "promoted pin." It will look like the normal pin that pops up whenever you search for anything on Maps, like a friend's house or a park, but instead will have a company's logo on it. That means a Best Buy promoted pin would have its yellow price tag logo on it and could show you a deal for 10 percent off phone accessories.

For now, Dischler said, there is no way to turn off promoted pins.

So whether you like it or not, the brands are coming.