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AdSense Ads with Phone # in Them

Good or Bad for Your Earnings?

     

martinibuster

8:33 pm on May 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So I found one that has a call to action for calling their toll-free number.

Think people click on an ad exhorting people to call?

LifeinAsia

8:35 pm on May 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google started testing pay-per-call several months ago.

leadegroot

8:55 pm on May 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I saw one of these on my pages and put a query through to Google asking how I was getting paid for them.
Oddly, I never heard back from them. :(

martinibuster

9:02 pm on May 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Good guess. But this is not Pay Per Call, it doesn't have the special phone icon which denotes it is a pay per call ad.

This is a joker trying to get a sale without having to pay for the click.

toomer

9:19 pm on May 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Been going on for quite some time ... I'd posted a thread in here a few months back about that.

[webmasterworld.com...]

Much like the MFA ads, or the "free" and "reward" ads , obviously Google must think that they pay out well enough for you if you're seeing them.

martinibuster

9:30 pm on May 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm trying to figure out why Google's algo would show an ad that is designed to not receive a click.

Suppose this:
If an advertiser bids high in the hopes of getting a bump without having to pay for it, then conceivably, the reason the ad is being shown is because it's worth more per click. Which is why Google would be showing the ad.

Or are those ads receiving clicks despite the phone numbers?

What do you think?

[edited by: martinibuster at 9:52 pm (utc) on May 23, 2006]

Rodney

9:46 pm on May 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes, I think the ads are still receiving clicks despite the phone number.

Thinking about it as a customer: I don't think I would call a phone number just from seeing a few words of text before it. However, it would help that particular ad to stand out from ads that didn't have numbers as possibly a company that is more reliable with phone support if necessary.

Thinking about it as a merchant: seems like just another tactic to get your ad to stand out. I really doubt you'll get lots of calls just from the phone number and 3-4 words.

Thinking about it as a publisher: it seems like it would show that there are quality (ie: non-MFA) advertisers showing on my site, and if the merchant is correct, and the it makes the ad stand out, then that means that ad would get more clicks, which menas more money for me, more leads for the advertiser, more relevant ads for my site visitors.

I don't use any click tracking software, so I couldn't guarantee that it gets clicked, but that's my non-scientific opinion :)

brianng

9:56 pm on May 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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That's what I think as a customer too. If I interest in the ad and want to know more information, I would click the ad instead of calling because clicking is much easier

jomaxx

10:13 pm on May 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I tend to agree. Who's going to go to the trouble of calling before doing a simple clickthrough?

jatar_k

10:54 pm on May 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>> clicking is much easier

but we aren't average users are we

martinibuster

1:18 am on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Rodney makes some great points.

Discussing it over IM earlier today, someone noted that if the ads aren't being clicked on, then smart pricing will make it more expensive for that ad to show up in the auction, so that when it does get clicked on, it will be worth more per click.

The ad stood out, caught my eye right away. If the algo is pushing those ads on my content network as likely to earn more money, it can very well be that the phone numbers could stimulate a click by virtue of their increased visibility.

joaquin112

2:20 am on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Indeed, don't worry about it. How many times have you called some random number you found on the net?

aaronpaul

1:44 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've tested ads both ways and the ads with phone numbers, in most cases, receive a higher CTR. I decided to try it after a Google rep encouraged a large AdWords customer that I work with to do so. If Google thought it was taking from their bottom line they wouldn't be saying that I'm sure.

Sure enough, those ads get better click throughs. It lends credibility to the ad and the company placing the ad. It's a lot like including basic contact info (besides an email) on your website; even if a person doesn't use that info, they are more likely to buy from you because it adds credibility in a marketplace (the web) where a lot of regular folks are afraid of getting ripped off...

janethuggard

4:25 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I know for a fact the ads are receiving clicks inspite of the phone number in them. I am one of those who block the ad if I see a number. I view it as a dirty trick to circumvent my commission for the referral.

However, only a couple days ago, I received a whopping dpc for a click to one with the phone number in the ad I hadn't noticed up to that point. I am now less inclined to block simply based on the fact there is a phone number in the ad.

dpc = dollars per click, the big sister of cpc, a term I use for the really big commissions.

aaronpaul

4:44 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google would have no insentive to allow them if they didn't get clicked. And AdWords would filter them out if they didn't anyhow. It's not a dirty trick, it's a way for advertisers to generate clicks. I'm an advertiser and I do it becasuse I know I'll get more clicks, if you filter out my site then you're missing out.

True, some advertisers may be trying to get a call instead of a click, but when you as the publisher get more paid clicks from them, that's their loss (or gain, however you want to look at it)...

swa66

9:42 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've seen telephone numbers in ads that were clearly MFA. As such I don't think they are all that great (so far).

cline

9:56 pm on May 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've been running ads with phone numbers for years. The phone number can often increase CTR. Sure, maybe some people call rather than click, but I'm doing it for the CTR.

sem4u

1:20 pm on May 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Same here cline. I have been doing this for years as well.

tom54

4:02 pm on May 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've been using it for a while in some of my ads. Seems to help where you need to establish a bit more credibility in a given space. I don't think it diminishes click through, on the contrary, it seems to improve it (for me anyway).

awall19

4:31 pm on May 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have used the correct phone number and noticed many calls from the ads.

I have also once used an incorrect number in an ad, and sure enough the other business that was fielding the calls called me up and let me know ;) so many people do call just directly from the ads.

rohitj

4:53 pm on May 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I really think that even the most novice of users would look at a page prior to making a call, no matter how outstanding a user is. And this is one of the very situations in which smart pricing will take control. if any Ad copy was really easy to exploit without paying for clicks, the AD would get very expensive very fast for the one or two clicks it did generate (assuming the system gave it any pageviews whatsoever).

Scurramunga

1:34 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I thought phone numbers were not permitted.

farmboy

3:41 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is a joker trying to get a sale without having to pay for the click.

I think there is another factor to consider. The OP mentioned seeing a toll-free telephone number. Incoming toll-free calls cost the advertiser/owner of the number.

How much does an incoming toll-free call cost as compared to a click? Do they still charge by the minute for incoming toll-free calls?

FarmBoy

Tourz

3:53 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How much does an incoming toll-free call cost as compared to a click?

People pay for clicks in order to generate sales calls. 3.5-10 cents per minute, 6 sec billing.

farmboy

4:04 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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People pay for clicks in order to generate sales calls.

I thought the theory was people were putting telephone numbers in ads to avoid paying for clicks.

FarmBoy

Tourz

4:34 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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putting telephone numbers in ads to avoid paying for clicks

Nah. The important thing is the call, not whether they cost you a few dimes by clicking or not. More calls equals higher ROI. Just a different marketing tactic.

I doubt it affects Adsense earnings negatively.

Right now I only advertise on Search results -- I don't trust traffic from content ads... but I guess I should give it another go now that analytics can check the page views etc. Will try the phone number idea too. ;-)

Hobbs

6:33 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am surprised no one else mentioned this, but what if the advertiser is not paying per click?

A CPM advertiser should have the right to put a phone number, when you are paying per 1000 impressions, who cares if you even have a link in the ad.

MichaelEng

8:32 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone tried putting telephone numbers in their Title tags, so when their website appears in the SERP's the telephone number is displayed?

Receptional

11:07 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)



I'm trying to figure out why Google's algo would show an ad that is designed to not receive a click.

I'm mostly a buyer of Adwords, not a seller through Adsense, but it seems to me that Google's algo is designed right here... if the ad creates click, its quality will keep the ad on the page. If it doesn't, then the only thing keeping it on the page would have to be a huge CPC cap to compensate.

I guess Google could count haveing a phone number on the ad as a factor in its quality check.

phone number on title tag

Wouldn't it be better - on balance - to have this in the Desription? Much less effect on the serps, but more effect when (if) seen in the serps?

wmuser

7:20 pm on May 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Puting toll free number on Adsense ads should be against TOS no?
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