After a recent change in ad placements in the App Store, Google is looking to rejig ad placements in the Google Play Store as well.
As reported by 9to5Google, Google is looking to place ads directly in the Play Store Search bar.
Regularly, when you tap on the Play Store Search bar, you’ll be presented with your four most recent searches, alongside your keyboard to type in a new search. Now, on a device running version 33.0.17-21 of the Play Store, folks over at 9to5Google were able to spot apps that they’ve never searched for or interacted with show up in the Play Store Search bar. “They are all games, complete with their icons: Summoners War: Chronicles, Call of Duty Mobile Season 10, and Fishdom Solitaire,” the publication wrote.
Once you start typing in the Search bar, the ads go away, and the auto-complete suggestions take up the screen.
It is currently unknown if the apps/games that show up in the Search bar are boosted by their publishers (paid ads), or if they pop up depending on your search/download history as suggestions.
It’s worth noting that the same apps do not show in the ‘Suggested for you’ section for 9to5Google, which might indicate that the apps showing up is not due to organic suggestions, and rather, paid ads.
The updated Play Store Search bar is not available to all users yet, so it might just be an A/B test that might or might not make its way to the stable build.