Business Software

Google Supports 'Click-to-Call' Mobile Ads

Google has started supporting a "click-to-call" feature in AdWords on mobile smartphones.

The feature lets a phone user click on a phone number in an advertisement to automatically place a call to the advertiser.

The ads and phone numbers displayed are based on the caller's location, so if a user searches for a chain store, the ad will a

utomatically display the closest location, said Surojit Chatterjee, a product manager in Google's Mobile Ads Team, in a blog post.

For an advertiser, the cost of a click-to-call is the same as the cost of a click to visit its Web site. Advertisers will be able to see how many calls originate from the ads in the campaign summary in their AdWords account.

In a beta test, Google said advertisers using the feature saw a 5 percent to 30 percent increase in click-through rates on their ads.

This isn't the first time Google is offering click-to-call services. Advertisers can also set up click-to-call AdWords campaigns for WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) phones, lower-end devices that support more limited Web use.

The new click-to-call ads can be displayed on phones that have full Internet browsers.

For a while Google also offered click-to-call in its Maps service, but discontinued that in 2007.

Google is among a handful of Internet players vying for leadership in the potentially significant mobile advertising market. It recently bought AdMob, a mobile display-ad technology provider. Earlier this month, Apple bought mobile ad company Quattro. Microsoft and Yahoo are also working to secure footholds in the market.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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