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Matching Yahoo!'s testing of PPCall, Google is testing "Click to Call." No phone numbers are exposed; the service connects advertisers and would-be buyers by clicking an icon. I was unable to find any of the ads live on Google, but Search Engine Journal (link below) has some examples in the mortgage category.

This is obviously big news and has lots of implications. I don't have time to explore those (as we have in reports and various blog posts in the past) at the moment. We have projected that PPCall could be a $1.4 billion market by 2009.

One of the problems with paid search (especially with less sophisticated advertisers) is that there's incomplete tracking. People see impressions and clicks, but they ultimately don't know how many of those clicks actually turned into real leads. This is less of an issue for e-commerce businesses. But for local businesses and others, it's a problem. Call tracking and PPCall help "close the loop."

As we've said in the past, calls and clicks will be widely available as separate but complementary products going forward. More from Search Engine Journal.


Update: Google has issued the following statement:

Google is always considering new ways to provide value to its advertisers and we frequently run tests of potential new features and products. We are
currently conducting a limited test of a pay-per-call model, but we don't have any additional information to share at this time (emphasis mine).

So it is apparently a PPCall test. Still don't have any sense of who the vendor is.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Finally google placed its pawn on the ppcall game board.

    It's a test, but we feel it's also some sort of an introduction to something big and extended to come 🙂

    It seems to be basically a web ppcall, but we don't know if google won't tap into the client ppcall as well. My guess is that yes, and using a unique attitude in order to attract users to d/l Gtalk aggressively

    And in this sphere (client ppcall) – Skype is currently the sole player, with their plans probably coming soon as well (not eBay ppcall – pure local search/business directory ppcall).

    It's becoming interesting and possibly even dramatic over the next few months.

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