Initially the spots will be limited to advertisers who are already running search ads for their apps and will only show up for a selected set of users.
As with Google’s normal search ads, advertisers will be able to bid for particular queries like “coupon apps” or “travel apps”. The company says it plans to expand the program in the coming months based on the results of the initial tests and user feedback.
Paid search results will be flagged on Google Play with a small “Ad” marker.
It’s a smart move for Google to offer app ads in its store. Facebook’s been getting significant revenue from app recommendation ads in the newsfeed for some time.
The announcement of the pilot comes just a couple of days after Google acquired Toro, a startup that helped developers market their apps through Facebook.
➤ A New Way to Promote Your App on Google Play [Android Developers Blog]
Read next: Google Launches Android for Work