Google: Click2Call Ads Generating ‘Millions of Calls’

Last Thursday was Google’s earnings call. The remarkable $8.4 billion dollar quarter was totally overshadowed by the news that CEO Eric Schmidt was being replaced by co-founder Larry Page. I was immediately consumed by that news and its implications for the company.

I’m “circling back” now to revisit the earnings call. There were interesting details revealed in the Q&A about the state of things on the local and mobile fronts for Google. Here are some selected excerpts (emphasis mine).

Product SVP Jonathan Rosenberg:

In Local, over 5 million businesses have claimed their Google place pages. And we recently started testing a new ad product, which we called Boost, and that gives businesses a really easy and fast way to promote themselves online and to connect with the people who are searching for them . . .

I think it’s probably easier to talk about initially how tablets and smartphones are similar, right? Both of them are growing at a terrific pace. As is the case of Mobile, what we see on these devices is that search usage on the tablets tends to peak on the weekend and it dips on the weekdays, so it’s generally complementary to desktop, which we’ve talked about before. What does that suggest? Maybe, the people are using them more for personal usage as opposed to business. We do see on tablets the weekend peak is a little bit more pronounced than it is on phones. I think that’s probably the case because people pretty much always carry their smartphone during the week. Some of the bigger differences, the tablet users tend to search more for things like news and they tend to do more shopping-related topics when you compare them to smartphone users.

Sales SVP Nikesh Arora:

The other thing we’ve done in Local is the way I think local is sometimes synonymous with smaller advertisers and smaller territories. And towards that end, we have created the most simplistic set of products around Tags and Boost, which is more amenable to the advertisers. They don’t have to do a lot of work. Sometimes they don’t even have their own websites

Product SVP Jonathan Rosenberg:

[The] Click-to-Call ads are generating millions of calls every month. A lot of advertisers are running these campaigns. I think one you can see if you tried is DirectTV. We did launch a call-only option where the only clickable link in the ad is actually a phone number, which not surprisingly substantially increases the click through rates on mobile devices. And we’ve extended some of the desktop formats pretty successfully to Mobile. Sitelinks is one. If you try a query on Oakley, you’ll see one, if you seller ratings on something like running shoes . . . At the moment, I don’t have any specific comments on NFC other than to go back to the statements that I’ve made in previous calls, which is when people are completing transactions with these devices, it becomes much more trackable and obviously significantly more valuable.