Google bringing sponsored search results to small number of Play Store users

Google Android robot

If you’re a frequent Google search user, you’re no doubt used to the sponsored results that Google displays at the top of every page. Today the company has announced that it is introducing a similar style of sponsored results into the Play Store.

In a post published on the Android Developer blog this morning, Google talked about the importance of app discovery to a developer. Android developers, Google explained, need the right engagement and promotional tools to ensure continued success. In November, the company released an entire book on how to successfully market and sell apps through the Play Store. Now Google is adding the option to promote an app to push it to the top of a user’s search results.

“Search ads on Google Play will enable developers to drive more awareness of their apps and provide consumers new ways to discover apps that they otherwise might have missed,” the company wrote. “We believe search ads will be a useful addition to Google Play for users and developers alike, and we hope this will bring even more success to our developer community.”


Google has said that a limited number of users will see ads in the coming weeks. These ads will be from developers who already have Google search campaigns in place for their apps. The ads will be marked with the familiar yellow ‘Ad’ label that we’re used to seeing when searching on desktop.

Google has promised to share more information on this program down the road, but details remain scarce for the time being. The goal is to help developers make money (indeed, Google revealed in the same post that it has doled out $7 billion to developers in the last year), but the above solution doesn’t do much for small time or indie devs that can’t afford to push their app to the top of the listings via sponsored results. The cost of these types of campaigns will have a huge impact in how accessible they are to the smaller app developers and whether sponsored listings represent a viable solution for them.