Google, to my knowledge, has always allowed phone numbers to appear in AdWords ad copy. But this has not been a widely employed practice. Or maybe at one point it was allowed and then later disallowed; I’m not sure.
However last week over at Search Engine Land we were sent a screen shot that showed phone numbers in AdWords:
Google’s mobile new Click-to-Call (which translates into PPCall when you turn off the PC targeting) is widely known. But this phone-numbers-in-AdWords development seemed to be new. Indeed, Google confirmed it:
“We’re currently testing a feature with a small number of advertisers in which a phone number can be included within the ad to help them more effectively engage with customers who prefer to connect over the phone.”
However Google wouldn’t say anything more about:
- Whether these were tracking numbers (provided by Google)
- Whether Google was getting paid on a per-call basis
I’m going to speculate that these are tracking numbers (from Google) and that it is a PPCall billing model. The logic behind my speculation is simple.
If people see the ads and just call the phone number there’s no click and so no billable event. Google doesn’t get paid. And the presence of the phone number in the ad in fact explicitly contemplates that some number of people will just pick up the phone and not click.
To determine the efficacy of this program calls would necessarily need to be tracked with unique phone numbers. And Google probably wouldn’t say: just go ahead advertiser and use your own phone numbers and let us know later how many calls you receive. So Google is probably supplying the tracking numbers; and the model is probably PPCall.
Agree? Disagree? What do you think is going on?