Ads are coming to the Google Play Store

google play store app
Derek Walter

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Advertisements are coming soon to a Google Play Store near you.

Google announced a pilot program Thursday whereby developers can buy top placement in search results inside the Play Store.

According to an example on the Android Developers blog it looks similar to how sponsored results work in Google search, with the top entry getting an orange "Ad" tag to identify its prime position. 

Google says the ads will start showing up for "a limited set of users" in the coming weeks. They'll come from a pilot group of advertisers who are already running ads for their apps in Google search results.

play store ads example

See the Traveller app up top?

Developers already can, for example, advertise their apps on Google search, with a sponsored result prompting you to open an existing app on your device or download it from the Play Store.

Along with the new ad program, Google also announced that it's paid more than $7 billion in the past year to Android developers. It's still shy of the $10 billion Apple dished out in the same time, but it's another indication that, unlike the past when it was hard to make money on Google's platform, there's money to be made on Android.

The impact on you at home: Hooray for more Google ads! OK, that's probably not your reaction, though given that Google makes the bulk of its revenue from advertising across search, maps, and other products it's not tremendously surprising.

However, there actually might be some benefit for you. Sponsored results may give independent developers the chance at getting their app in front of more users instead of just spinning the roulette wheel of app discovery. Yet just like with ads in other Google products, you'll need to get a bit more savvy about what you decide to select and download.

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