Google has taken another major step with mobile AdWords, bringing a new ad format to mobiles that features an expandable Google Map – in browser or app – for business location and directions.
Using its “location extensions” that started with click-to-call earlier this year, this new format is aimed at targeting users based on their location and then serving them an ad that will not only grab their attention, while at the same time trying provide users with the quickest possible way to find the local info they need (whether or not either succeeds, we’ll have to wait and see).
While Google did not specifically mention AdMob in their blog post, we’re guessing that the in-app ad network that Google acquired this year is involved with this rollout to some extent (note, Google says, “mobile websites and apps in the Google Display Network” so we’re not sure if that includes apps that use AdMob or not, but we’re guessing that that is the case).
Here’s how Google explains how the system works:
“The ad appears as a banner text ad with a business icon that expands to show your business location on a Google map along with your ad creative, click-to-call phone number and option to get directions. Since ads can be served based on the user’s location, a potential customer will see the phone number and map of the store location that’s nearest to them.”
A nice feature, for advertisers at least, is that Google is not charging AdWord users when the map is expanded – advertisers are only charged either for a click-to-call action and/or if the user clicks through to the business’ website. What this means, is that businesses could perhaps get a bit of a free advertising out of the deal as users simply bring up the map and then just figure out how to get to the business themselves, with calling or going to the website.
It is an interesting and smart concept from Google that should both benefit Google and businesses, but we still want to play with it a bit to see how the user experience pans out.
If you are interested in using this new ad format, Google clearly walks you through the sign up process in its blog post.