Earlier this summer Google gave an indication this was coming. Now Google is rolling out what it’s calling “bid for calls,” a pay per call (PPCall) offering on the PC. This is distinct from Click to Call, its successful mobile PPCall product. The program will launch in the US and UK at first and relies on the Call Metrics (Google Voice) infrastructure.
AdWords advertisers must use Call Metrics and a Google Voice-generated call tracking number to participate. But rather than just paying $1 per completed call for call tracking, advertisers can now separately bid on calls.
In the near future, depending on the amount of bids and how many calls are received, Google will begin to include calls in its ads quality score. I spoke to Google’s Surojit Chatterjee who told me advertisers that don’t participate in bid for calls won’t be disadvantaged. But advertisers whose paid-search ads are generating lots of calls may see a boost in their AdWords rankings accordingly.
In other words, “call-through rate” will now be a factor in ranking. To participate in bid for calls advertisers enable Call Extensions and Call Metrics:
Last year when Google’s call tracking program “Call Metrics” was first introduced I suspected PPCall wouldn’t be far behind. Google experimented with PPCall on the PC years ago but never rolled it out broadly.
Despite its relatively low-key introduction this morning, this is a major development for Google and for AdWords advertisers. Being able to bid on calls separately as well as getting ranking “credit” for calls generated from Google ads will be significant for many advertisers (local and national) that operate call centers or have stores in the real world.