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Sponsored search results coming to Google Play Android app store

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Today, Google is announcing a "pilot program" on the Google Play app store which will allow app makers to purchase a spot at the top of search results. The program will work very similarly to how ads work on a traditional Google search, but instead of highlighting websites, developers can highlight their apps. That means that individual search terms will be bid on by advertisers, and sponsored results will have a small "Ad" tag on them.

Google says that the pilot program will begin in a very limited way, accessible only to a pre-chosen "pilot group" that has already begun pushing their apps via ads in traditional web searches — but it's reasonable to assume it'll open up to more app makers in relatively short order.

To go along with that news, Google is also touting a number: $7 billion. That's the amount it's paid out to developers in the past 12 months from app store purchases and in-app purchases. That number is creeping up on Apple's developer numbers, which clocked in at $10 billion in 2014.

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