Google Testing Mobile App Ads in the Google Play Store

Google has launched a pilot program to allow mobile app developers to advertise their apps on their own in the Google Play store. At the onset, the ads will be made available to advertisers who are running search ads on already. These will also only show up against the Google Play search results. This has been done deliberately because Google doesn’t want the ads to erratically pop up in other sections of Google Play, such as category pages and so forth.

Alternatively, advertisers will be allowed to bid on ads matching a specific search query, such as “hotel apps” or “coupon app”. Their mobile application would then display among the top of the ranked search results returned from Google Play’s store, where it appears exactly the same as any other search result except for the fact that it will be flagged as an ad via the little “Ad” tab that shows under the app’s name.

The company shared that 100 billion-plus of the searches have improved content discovery for users and advertisers alike and expect the search ads on Google Play to do the same for app publishers. The program will particularly provide newcomers and smaller developers a better chance to compete and gain visibility in the Google app store.

Not many details are being shared about the specificities of the newly launched program at present primarily because it has entered only the pilot testing stage as of now. Temporarily, the ads will simply run in the latest version of the Play Store mobile app on Android smartphones, instead of the tablets, mobile or the desktop web version. In fact, only a small number of consumers will practically be able to see the new ads initially.

The pilot period is set for the purpose of allowing the app publishers and users alike a time-frame for testing and providing feedback on a number of factors. These factors include the mix of ads, keywords targeting, number of ads shown in the search results and so forth.