Google mulls click-to-call service on smartphones

Google mulls click-to-call service on smartphones. (AFP)

Google said it was testing the possibility to introduce a click-to-call service on smartphones in the region, in line with the service it has announced in the US.

Through this service, Google would allow phone numbers to display in ads and will charge advertisers when calls are initiated accordingly.

Google's pitch to advertisers was: "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".

A Google spokesperson told Emirates Business: "We've been testing the inclusion of click-to-call phone numbers in search ads on high-end mobile phones. In anticipation of rolling this feature out more broadly, we've contacted a number of AdWords advertisers to advise them that we plan to extend the feature to their AdWords accounts. We don't have any more details to share right now, but we'll have more to say when the feature is ready to roll out."

The new option was introduced to AdWords advertisers late last week, sending out a message to informthem of a new mobile option – pay per call – according to Search Engine Land, news and information site covering search engine marketing, searching issues and the search engine industry.

The idea is based on the fact that on most smartphones, phone numbers typically can be touched or "clicked" to initiate a telephone call.

"This is a version of 'pay-per-phone call' but the cost per call is the same as a click — a bargain… for the advertisers to receive a 'warm lead," said Greg Sterling from Search Engine Land.

 

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