Google has updated its Maps service on Android, iPhone and iPad to include local ads related to user searches.

Google Maps is often used to search for local businesses and the addition of local ads is intended to be attractive for users and effective for advertisers, according to a post on Google’s Inside AdWords blog.

Relevant ads appear at the bottom of the screen after users have completed a search. The ads include a title, ad text and link for directions. Users can tap or swipe upwards for more information, such as the business’s address, phone number, photo and reviews.

Consumers can save business information for later or share it with a friend without the advertiser being charged. Users contacting the business via click-to-call and clicks on the ad headline are charged to the advertiser, although Google AdWords only registers a maximum of two paid clicks per ad impression.

In order to show ads on Google Maps, advertisers must add a location extension to their search campaigns or create an ad with AdWord Express.

More than one billion people use Google Maps every month, according to Google, and it is the world’s most used app with 54 per cent of the smartphone population making use of its features, recent research by GlobalWebIndex found.