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Google to show sponsored apps on Play Store search results

The search giant has looked at how sponsored advertisements have performed on organic search results and now Google will be introducing a similar system for developers to take advantage of. In the coming weeks, a limited selection of consumers will see adverts from a pilot group of advertisers running the new system for their apps.

There's a reason a developer might want to promote their app on Google Play: there's good money to be made. Says Google:

In fact, in the past year, we paid more than $7 billion to developers distributing apps and games on Google Play. We remain as committed as ever to making Google Play the best place to find great apps, games and other entertainment.

It'll be interesting to see how developers (and the larger companies like King and co.) utilize search ads within the store, and whether or not they will be of any use for consumers. More than 100 billion searches are made every month in Google Play, so there's a huge opportunity for exposure here — developers will just have to pay for it. How do you feel about being shown sponsored adverts within the Google Play Store?

Source: Google

70 Comments
  • All of my search results will be based on who paid the most $. Great pages and pages of crap results in the Play Store.... Posted via the Android Central App
  • This is a great idea.
    Helps with discovery and also let's me know which SPONSORED APPS I shouldn't download.
    (Smile) Galaxy Note 4 Galaxy S III
    LG G2
    If it ain't Tech, it ain't Right.
  • Damn, perfect example where your incentives are pointed in the wrong direction.
  • No Thanks Posted via Android Central App on my HTC M8
  • I mostly get my app suggestions from sites like #androidcentral anyway. #justsaying Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yup I wonder if illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup
  • And then Google starts pay AndroidCentral? Posted via Android Central App- Via HTC One
  • Then people would go elsewhere for their news. Posted on my OnePlus One
  • Hmmm. No happy about this -_- Posted via the Android Central App
  • Careful Google, Careful.........
  • This is exactly what makes search engines useless. I always ignore the sponsored results because they are always the most irrelevant results to my search. This is a horrible move by Google. Posted via Android Central App
  • The only time I pay attention is if i'm searching for that site, and the top sponsored site happens to be it. Then instead of scrolling down, I just click it. But I never "just click" a sponsored site
  • In Google search they're easy to ignore. The problem is, in Play store if anyone tries a promoted app, it will get more downloads and start showing up in organic search results even if it's crap. Also sponsored links are the main source of income for search iirc... Google already makes a ton of money from Play Store. This is just greedy. Posted via who-gives-a-s***
  • I tap on the "Promoted Ads" in my Gmail, if they're interesting. Galaxy Note 4 Galaxy S III
    LG G2
    If it ain't Tech, it ain't Right.
  • Next, when opening an app, any app, the following message will be displayed : this app brought you by (insert company name), please watch this short ad (30 seconds or longer) before proceeding Posted via the Android Central App
  • Hello amazon Appstore then. I think there would be a revolt..
  • Is this the part were we want software without ads? The developers are going to say they need to be (and rightfully so) paid. So you get ads or $50 software titles without ads. They gaming industry must be going been there, done that. It's the younger folks that don't know or remember about "paying to play" during the late 80's and 90's. Moreover, feeling really cheated having to pay for a revision to your software. How about paying every time Microsoft "upgrade/updated" Windows? Study your history and be careful when you demand an update from Microsoft, er uh Google to update KitKat, etc. for free. Google has warned you about what's to come ($$$) out of your pocket... Posted via the Android Central App
  • LOL you think there are no ads in games. They have so much product placement these days, games practically are advertisements themselves. Posted via who-gives-a-s***
  • Watched a movie lately? They should pay the viewer to sit through it...sigh. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't play games. The last game I played was "Leisure Suit Larry" on my Tandy TS 1000... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Ohh bad move big G. I've already moved to DropBox's email app because I'm sick of Gmail's "looks like another email" ads.
    I feel like maybe Google are getting close to their peak...and the crumble years will follow Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well I guess I'll just have to get in the habit of scrolling past the first result or two like in regular searches. Even if the sponsored link is the site I'm searching for I still skip it and click the one below it. Posted via the AC App on my LG G3
  • Same here Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't like this mainly because the type of companies that tend to buy ads like that are the companies I couldn't care less about, like different phone carrier, or tide laundry detergent or something stupid like that, if I'm forced to see ads I'd rather see targeted ads, like ads from real game developers (aka not popcap), and other more geeky things like that, even still I don't every buy something because I saw an ad, anything I buy is because I did research and read reviews on the product, or it's product that I really don't care, like laundry detergent or toilet paper, whatever's cheapest while still working well is what I buy.
  • +1 for saying "couldn't care less" :)
  • -2 for taking a side andbitching about something completely pointless. ;)
  • I typically search for the app I want anyway. Too bad this doesn't help smaller new developers at all. With YouTube failing to post profit I'm not surprised to see tactics like this. Investors are Google's real customers.
  • Wouldn't it be great if they would implement a feature that hid any app that you already had downloaded on your device??
  • Well, no. Because sometimes I've installed an app, then removed it, and am now looking for it again. But it would be nice to have a lot more granularity in configuring searches and filters. For a "search company," Google's search capability in the play store is awful.
  • Awesome! I've been hoping for this! This should seriously improve the play store! Great move Google! /s Wubba lubba dub dub!
  • +1 /s Posted via the Android Central App
  • This is not good. Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm a huge Android fan... but this is not something that I like. Its one thing in web search where you have a lot more screen real estate but on a mobile device, it inhibits users in finding the desired result. There's enough revenue that can be generated through tracking my behavior and app preferences already.
  • Can be good and bad for indie developers. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Boooo..... i dont click on sponsored links....and won't buy sponsored products. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You must be hungry
  • I've been so down on Google lately... With the lollipop flustercluck and all the disappointing leaks someone give me a virtual hug and tell me it's going to be okay Posted via the Android Central App
  • It'll never be okay. But don't worry. We're here for you. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Thanks bro Posted via the Android Central App
  • stick a finger in your ass and give you a reacharound... last longer than a virtual hug. :P :D
  • I'm right there with you. Lollipop is buggy as hell and it is taking entirely too long to release a 5.1 "fix". My N6 will just spontaneously reboot every so often, notification sounds resetting, etc. It makes me long for a Nokia 1100.
  • I love how everyone is bitching about phones NOT being updated to an obviously buggy software. Lol. Let 'em work out the kinks. Does not help you on your N6 though...
  • Horrible. Just horrible.
  • Everyone seems to be seeing this as a downer, it could be good. We have to wait to see how it plays out. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lol how can it be good? Please elaborate Posted via the Android Central App
  • A company with what almost a trillion in cash socked away (in a foreign country) from paying US taxes asking for more of your money.... Waite, Waite is that Apple or Microsoft? Posted via the Android Central App
  • As long as they still show the highest rated "real life" apps in their own category I'm fine. You can pay all want, if your app sucks, advertising it may not be the wisest choice. Posted via Nexus 6 which causes system update concern apathy.
  • To me a sponsored ad means its something that no one wants so they have to pay to get it seen.
    To that end I always avoid sponsored ads.
    Not a great move on googles part IMHO
  • Complete oversimplification. A relatively small developer with a brand new badass app might want to use sponsored adds to generate interest. Posted via the Android Central App
  • What a developer considers bad-ass, as the creator of something that he is undoubtedly proud of, is leaps and bounds different than what everyone else considers bad-ass.
  • A small developer isn't going to have the money to have a sponsored ad. Google wants the big players, not indies.
  • Here come the Apus spam! (I'm sorry to those who swear by the Apus apps suite, but damn they're REALLY aggressive in their marketing. Most every ad I see in Chrome beta is for Apus Launcher or whatever. It's ridiculous!) Posted via the Android Central App
  • I hope there is a limit. I don't want to see 20 ad-apps first, before I find what i'm looking for.
  • I actually tend to avoid sponsored apps. As so many others have said, is someone needs to pay money to get their app noticed, I don;t want it. I'm sure the vast majority of mobile app users are not this way, and will install whatever shiny new things gets their attention, but I am not in that group. Even Android sites that have "Top ## apps for..." , if they start it off with a sponsored app, I scroll right on past without looking at it and see what else was listed.
  • Oh,that's just great! As if we need more mobile advertising! Are you kidding me? This is such a bad,stupid,time wasting,idea. What moron came up with this? He needs to be fired! I have found plenty of great apps thhat the developers would never,or could never afford to pay. What we will get is all the obnoxious developers ads that are thrown at us already,but ten fold. How about promoting great apps by new developers to give them a leg up for FREE! Seems that would be a whole lot more noble. Posted via the Android Central App, HTC Evo 4g LTE ,on Sprint
  • *throws up hands* We little fish already have enough trouble getting exposure. In order to get players in the current system, you have to incorporate 'evil' game design if you don't have money. Now, you have to pay for the privilege of selling out. Hell, even just updating your app description kills your ranking for some reason (and even worse, making a major update to your game like we just did). Google Play is, and has been, absolutely broken.
  • Time to sale your product elsewhere. Cut the Play Store out of the revenue stream and you can dictate your terms. Create a "Software Association" that sales stuff like the play store. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Let's say McDonald's raises the price of a McRib by $20, and your rib meat supplying business will be lessened as a result. Sure you could go build your own Rib Sandwich restaurant, but McDonald's still serves 60 million customers a day. Not a perfect analogy, but it illustrates my point.
  • I get it, you're screwed. Keep in mind how cappy that McDonald food taste. People don't go to McDonald's for a real meal. Don't develope McRibs and hopefully you can bypass the McDonald style buttplug.
    I feel for ya. Damned if you do and damned if you dont... Posted via the Android Central App
  • FCC just approved net neutrality rules. Sad day in America. Remember this word "waivers". Posted via the Android Central App
  • This has nothing to do with the net neutrality debate. Google Play is not an ISP, merely a successful storefront.
  • Me thinks folks doth detest too much. Walk into Sears, or Macy's, Kohl's, JC Penny, Best Buy or even Home Depot. Ever wonder how they decide what product goes where? Which items have a nice display and which ones are on a shelf hidden? It has something to do with money changing hands. The Play Store is nothing more than a retail front, and retail placement always has a cost with it. Now, either folks will need to get over it, or I've now ruined all retails shopping.
  • Thank you.
  • Google Play can't be compared to a Sears or the like. Think of it more like a flea market. Currently, you can ask anyone in the flea market to point you to "trivia," and they'll likely point you to what's popular (not an issue). But now, the biggest trivia stall will be able to pay the flea market employees to hand out expensive flyers as you enter. You in the back running your own trivia stall may not be able to compete on the equal(ish) footing you had before.
  • As long as they aren't annoying ads
  • Doesn't this violate App Store Neutrality?
  • I'm surprised it took this long for Google to implement this, they're main source of income is ads after all.
  • Well good for developers and Google.... Google search in the Play Store is awful in my opinion. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The only thing that surprises me is that they waited this long to do it. Google shopping is nothing but ads now.
  • Oh big deal. All these free services that you love and rely on that you get free from Google and you cry cause they want to serve you a couple ads? Anyone who brags about not clicking on ads sounds so ignorant. So if the ad model stopped working for companies and every single service you used on the internet now cost money, then you guys would cry an even bigger river. Give me a break.... Posted via the Android Central App