Could virtual billboards one day show up in Google Street View?
A few months ago, Google gave a presentation to marketing and ad agency types in Europe as part of an event called "Above and Beyond 2009," an educational seminar/infomercial on how Google can help get their clients' messages out to the public. One of the presentations was on the exploding opportunities in mobile advertising, something with which Google is clearly obsessed these days.
In the presentation, Google tossed out the notion that ads may one day appear in Street View, the feature in Google Maps that lets searchers navigate down an ever-increasing number of city and town streets around the world. Those ads would be tied into the listings in the Google Local Business Center and the Google Favorite Places program, which lets participating merchants put signs in their windows with bar codes leading to additional information or special offers.
A Google representative said the company had no current plans to put ads in Street View but noted that Google has already added a link to Street View in the Local Business Center listings that pop up in Google Maps. The convergence of local search, mobile computing, and navigation is one of Google's larger priorities for the upcoming year.