Google Warns Advertisers of Changes to Phone Numbers in Ads

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News forces advertisers to consider AdWords ability to match certain needs

Telephone by ElasticComputeFarm
Telephone by ElasticComputeFarm

Google delivered an email to some AdWords advertisers late last week, informing them of upcoming changes to the phone numbers that appear in ads.

The changes, which are scheduled to begin January 19, will affect campaigns that use both call extensions and local extensions, by no longer giving marketers the opportunity to differentiate calls driven from AdWords location-based business ads, and calls driven from other sources to their main line.

While the change will allow Google to test different methods of collection; it will present marketers with a heavy reliance on Google's analytics, as well as, a lack of call conversion tracking at the individual location level.

The process of assigning unique phone numbers to digital ads with the aid of third-party providers is essential for marketers attempting to track the efficiency of their digital campaigns. However, this change, will force marketers to rely solely on the analytics produced by Google.

Google has expanded exposure for ads that include location extensions over the past year, including showing ads in Maps and in Local Finder results. As of January 19 though, Google said it “may” show the local retail phone number when that store's location extension shows in an ad even if a call extension in the campaign uses a different phone number in order to increase the relevance of ads that feature specific business locations.

There is a form that advertisers can submit before the change to opt out of having local numbers show in location extensions, but Google warned advertisers in the email, it could negatively impact ad impressions (and, in turn, calls).

This email, especially since it combines an opt-out option with a warning about using it, will force advertisers to consider AdWords ability to match certain needs.

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