Google now offers Pay Per Call indirectly

If local advertising companies aren’t already quaking in their boots with Google’s recent blitz of new enhancements in local– Place Pages, Favorite Places, Caffeine, ad extensions, sitelinks, Fixed Fee Listings (yes, the beta was over due to poor performance), and so forth.  

We’ve known for a few months that you can do Pay Per Call on Google AdWords.  You merely set up a mobile PPC campaign targeting anything but phones that have rich web experiences– so basically anything but an iphone.  And then you can specify a phone number instead of a url.  Thus, a click is a call– and now you’re doing Pay Per Call.

Today, Google AdWords Support sent out a blast email saying that your phone number can appear in your mobile ad on full web browser phones– so they’re extending this feature to iphones.  Now that’s scary.

// begin AdWords letter

Dear AdWords Advertiser,

We’re pleased to announce that beginning in January, your location-specific business phone number will display alongside your destination url in ads that appear on high-end mobile devices. Users will be able to click-to-call your business just as easily as they click to visit your website. You’ll be charged for clicks to call, same as you are for clicks to visit your website.

How will phone numbers appear in my ads?

Based on the customer’s geographic location, the phone number and closest business address will appear as a fifth line of ad text when the ad appears on mobile devices with full HTML browsers (e.g. iPhone, Android, Palm WebOS).  

Where will I be able to see the results?

At launch, you’ll be able to view calls from your ads on your Campaign Summary page within AdWords from the “click type” segment option under the “Filter and Views” drop down. 

How will I be charged for phone calls I get from my ad?

The cost of a click to call your business will be the same as the cost of a click to visit your website.

What actions should I take?

If you’d like your ads to show location-specific phone numbers when displayed on mobile devices, make sure that your campaign is targeting iPhones and other mobile devices with full HTML browsers, and that you have included phone numbers with your business addresses in the locations under your Campaign settings.

If you would prefer your ads not show phone numbers, simply remove the phone number from the business listings included in your campaigns targeting mobile devices.

We hope this new feature enables you to connect more easily with your potential customers. If you have any questions or feedback, please email us at ctc-feedback@google.com

Sincerely,

The Google AdWords Team

Google Inc.

1600 Amphitheatre Parkway

Mountain View, CA 94043

// end Google AdWords letter

Also consider also how Google’s market share in Local has increased from 15% to 26%, making them the clear leader in local now (they weren’t last year– it was SuperPages).  See TMP Direction Media and Comscore’s findings.  

Google can easily increase their market share if they decide to force more Local 7 pack or Local N pack into the search results.  Many SEOs have lamented how soon all real estate on Google will be for sale.  Looks like Google can take a page (pun intended) from Baidu, even though Baidu is taking a page from Google and reducing the number of ads and identifying paid ads.

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