You see it on the map, Google gets paid
I zoomed-in, I saw, they profited
Thanks to Google‘s “sponsored map icons” launched this month in the US, when you zoom in to some levels on Google Maps, you can spot the logos of business brands in the area that you are looking at. Basically, Google reaps money from the count of the logos showing up in the map. And apparently, this ad service is differentiated, because it is on different zoom-in levels that you start to see the logos displayed on the maps. This way of bringing ads to the map service has been allegedly applied by Google in Australia, China, Japan, and New Zealand. This ad feature now works only on desktop browsers, and mobile support is coming soon.
Bing Maps has been doing this way before Google Maps, but in a more reasonable way: only the logo of the searched brand name will be displayed on the map.
Now either you choose Bing Maps or Google Maps, they end up getting paid once the logos are display on the map on your screen, technically regardless of you actually seeing the logos or not.