Google continued to refine its mobile ad technologies Sept. 29 with the introduction of a new hyperlocal advertising feature geared to help consumers in a pinch and businesses gain, well, more business.
Hyperlocation means Google Mobile Ads will show users searching their mobile phones for a business service a locally relevant ad, marked with the distance from that business.
The Hyperlocal distance feature is built atop Google AdWords location extensions, allowing users to click to see where the business is located on a map and then simply click to call the business.
Advertisers get charged when users click to visit their Website or on the phone number shown in the ad.
Google Mobile Ads Product Manager Surojit Chatterjee provided an example of how this works, noting that users who have opted into sharing their location on Google.com who find themselves with sudden car trouble can search for "car rental" from their mobile phone.
Here's where the hyperlocal magic kicks in, followed by a screenshot, as Chatterjee said:
"From a Google search ad result you discover there's an Enterprise Rent-A-Car neighborhood location just half a mile away! The blue distance marker made it easy to see that Enterprise is approximately .5 miles away. You click on the phone number listed in the ad and are instantly connected with the car rental service."
Such campaigns will function on Apple iPhones, Android phones or other handsets with full Internet browsers.
What Google is doing is connecting the consumer to a business more efficiently, which ideally means three parts of an equation that add up to a win-win.
- Consumers get taken care of more quickly.
- There are likely to be more clicks on Google's Mobile Ads because hyperlocation makes them relevant.
- Finally, the business paying for the advertising sees more business as a result of Google's middleman connection to the consumer.
I have no anecdotal proof to support this theory, but I suspect that an Enterprise Rent-A-Car franchise using the hyperlocal feature of Google's Mobile Ads will see more business than Hertz or Budget rivals that don't show mobile phone users proximity to their stores.
Otherwise, why offer it? No, Google is on to something here, and it's this type of feature that will carry mobile search advertising at a time when in-application advertising from Apple's iAd and Google's own AdMob unit begin to gain traction.