Confirmed: Google To Begin Charging For Some Calls From PC Ads

After getting many advertisers hooked on reports on phone calls originating from their AdWords ads, Google will begin charging $1.00 for calls completed using the unique number it provisions, but solely when the call originates from someone using a computer who dials the number themselves from a phone. When the call is from a mobile device, or someone on a PC calls from the computer itself by clicking, the standard click charges apply. Previously, the calls dialed on a phone were free, as they didn’t involve a click, per se.

Only advertisers using call metrics have their phone numbers appear on PCs, otherwise click-to-call ads exclusively appear on mobile devices.

Google had sent out an e-mail to clients telling them about this change, and also confirmed to me that it will begin charging. A company representative told me more details would be released when the new pricing policy is formally announced.

The change should make other click-to-call players happy, as it levels the playing field a bit.

Call metrics is a service launched last November which allows advertisers to see reports on phone calls coming through the unique phone number generated for ads with phone extensions. At launch, the company said the service was free but strongly hinted that this was likely to change. The new $1.00 charge allows Google to recoup some of its costs for provisioning the numbers, and recognizes that an action has taken place when someone calls, even if they don’t actually click on the ad.

Google says it will begin charging “in early May” but didn’t specify a date.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Top News


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  • Laura Thieme

    I saw this the other day when I was setting up a new campaign for a client. If you go to Site Extensions, you can see that Google Voice has been added, and you can enable call tracking. I am hoping this means we can set up keyword tracking for phone calls. I’m happy to have clients pay $1.00 per call (as opposed to per minute), as long as keyword/campaign/adgroup KPI tracking becomes included. We lose too much data on offline tracking.

  • Dane Gaydos

    Google has stated that cost per call will start at $1.00. This statement from Google implies that people will end up having to bid above a dollar per call. It is still unclear how this will integrate into the auction, if at all. Also, calls will count towards a form of CTR and thus quality score.

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