As I mentioned yesterday, you’ll soon be able to monetize Google Maps using built-in support for AdSense. It’s quite slick. However, I’ve noticed a number of blogs talking about an article about this on InfoWorld today, all of whom have a couple of key facts wrong.
First, InfoWorld says that mapplets can be monetized using this new AdSense for Maps API feature. This is not true. The AdSense for API coming out this month will only work on Maps mashups that you are hosting on your own site – not for mapplets. After the Google Developer Day, I asked a few Google employees about AdSense on mapplets and I was told that they are considering adding it at some point in the future, but not anytime soon.
The problem is that mapplets incorporate a lot of different datasets into one. Who gets the revenue from the ads if six different sites are contributing data? There are some issues like that for them to work out. For the normal Maps API it’s much simpler – it’s your site, so do whatever you want with the ads. It makes sense.
The other confusing point in the InfoWorld article talks about how those ads are displayed. They say “When the icon is passed over, information appears in the pop-up window“. Passed over? No, the word they were looking for is “clicked”.
The AdSense icons will be very similar to normal icons in Google Maps, at least in behavior. If you click on the icon the info bubble pops-up. If you click the ad in the info bubble, the site gets paid. There’s no “passing over” that is involved here.
I hope that helps clear this up.