Sponsored Search Results Prepare To Invade Google Play

As online shopping experiences go, Google Play is remarkably clutter free. Whether you’re in the apps section or browsing movie selections, you’re greeted with the same, clean design. Right now, searches in Google Play don’t include the kinds of sponsored results you see when you search on Google.com. But soon, that will change.

“We are always looking for new ways to help you get your apps in front of potential new users,” Google told app developers in a statement. “That’s why, in the next few weeks, we will begin piloting sponsored search results on Google Play, bringing our unique expertise in search ads to the store.”


The first developers to try the advertising program will be those who are already running ads for their apps on Google.com. Google will widen the circle from there.

It’s not surprising that Google is bringing search-based advertising to Google Play, but whether users will appreciate it remains to be seen. For one thing, the content in the Google Play store is much different than the text results you see in Google.com searches. Apps, games, music, and videos are represented by icons. On smartphone screens, search results don’t leave much room for anything else, which means that Google will have to take care not to clutter an already crowded, small space when it introduces sponsored search results.

Google isn’t alone in looking for new ways to use its platforms to carry advertising. Apple has been pursuing ad dollars as well, using a variety of ad formats. Its iTunes Radio has seen some interesting sponsorships from North Face and Pepsi, among other big brands.