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Google AdWords introduces click-to-call ads

In 2010, Google sent out this notification to AdWords advertisers:

“your location-specific business phone number will display alongside your destination url in ads that appear on high-end mobile devices. Users will be able to click-to-call your business just as easily as they click to visit your website. You’ll be charged for clicks to call, same as you are for clicks to visit your website.”

What Google was saying, simply, was that it would allow phone numbers to display in ads and would charge advertisers when calls were initiated accordingly.

As we described it at the time, this was effectively a “pay-per-phone call” but the cost per call is the same as a click.

Read all about it in Google To Introduce Click-to-Call (Billing) in Ads on Mobile Devices

Google would later introduce click-to-call phone numbers Jan. 28 on the Inside AdWords blog.

Also on this day 

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Google fixes user and permissions issue with Search Console

2022: The problem started in Google Search Console’s user interface in November 2021, when “Full Users” saw their status as “Delegated Owners” within the settings ownership verification section.

Microsoft releases IndexNow plugin for WordPress

2022: The WordPress IndexNow plugin enabled automated submission of URLs from WordPress sites to multiple search engines without the need to register and verify your site with them.

Best Buy to sell search ads under its own in-house media company

2022: Best Buy Ads started offering paid search ads and sponsored product listings on Best Buy’s website, among other ad offerings.

The AdWords 2x budget change: How’s it going?

2018: Search marketers weighed in on their experiences since the change took effect. Many had experienced no issues. But for others, the change wasn’t good. 

Google says Assistant now on more than 400 million devices

2018: And when Google said “devices,” that included Android smartphones, tablets, TVs, headphones and Google Home smart speakers.

Search in Pics: Google’s floppy sofa, rusty Android head & dancers

2018: The latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more.

Bing gets in shape with search updates for exercise & healthy recipe-related queries

2017: Bing started delivering carousel-styled search results with images that link to a wide variety of exercise options on searches for [workouts], [exercises], [yoga] and [Pilates].

Bing Now Powers AOL Search: What Advertisers Need To Know

2016: Here’s what the move meant for those managing Bing Ads campaigns.

GM Turning Its Cars Into Rolling (Local) Search Engines

2015: GM announced a range of new OnStar 4G LTE services, including “AtYourService,” featuring partners like Dunkin’ Donuts and Priceline.com.

The Strange Explanation Of Why Windows Phone Users Lost Access To Google Maps

2013: Many people suddenly noticed a long-standing redirection that Google had in place for those not using Android or iOS devices.

Google Expands Test Of AdWords That Collect Email Addresses

2012: Google confirmed it had expanded the trial of the lead generation format to additional advertisers.

Google Announces “Megasitelinks,” Image Search Improvements & Better Byline Dates

2012: Google revealed its latest overview of 30 search tweaks that happened in December 2011

Report: Social Media Spending Threatens To Overtake Paid Search Among SMBs

2012: The SMB-specific component of social media spending was roughly $1.14 billion

Trada Secures Additional $9M In Funding From Google Ventures & Foundry Group

2012: This additional seed of Series D financing brought the total money raised for Trada, the crowdsourced PPC marketplace, to $17 million. 

Google Can’t Seem to Quit China

2011: Despite a principled stand against censorship and the subsequent revelation that Chinese government surrogates were behind Gmail hacking, the company was contemplating a “return” to the Chinese market.

Obamacare AdWords: Partisan Outrage Or Public Education?

2011: An AdWords ad appearing for the query “obamacare” led to a landing page on the official government site HealthCare.gov.

Google Buzz Faces New Lawsuit In Canada

2011: Google was again sued over privacy issues related to the launch of Google’s failed social network.

Data: StumbleUpon Beats Buy Facebook Verification As Top Social Referrer

2011: StumbleUpon had a 43% share of social media referrals, while Buy Facebook Verification had 38%, according to StatCounter. Buy Facebook Verification would have the last laugh, as StumbleUpon shut down in June 2018.

Ballmer At CES 2011: “Whatever Device You Use, Windows Will Be There”

2011: Live blogging of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s talk at CES in Las Vegas. (Bing was only mentioned in passing, briefly as part of Windows Phone 7.)

Buy Facebook Verification Funding Subject Of SEC Review: Report

2011: The SEC was in the early stages of an inquiry over rules concerning the dividing line between public and private companies.

Google Teases “Honeycomb” Android 3.0 Tablet OS At CES

2011: “Built entirely for tablet,” this was a different UI than previous versions of Android.

Internet-To-TV Players Compared: Roku, Apple TV, Boxee & Google TV

2011: An at-a-glance look at how Roku, Apple TV, Boxee Box and Google TV measured up against each other.

As AdWords Ads Get Images, What’s Deemed Family Safe?

2010: Google said: “Images in ads are only classified as non-family safe when they are found to contain adult content.”

With Mobile Ad Networks Being Snapped Up By Google And Apple Will Yahoo Or Microsoft Be The Next To Buy?

2010: The mobile market was real – and red hot.

Islam Is … Blocked By ‘Bug’ In Google Suggest

2010: Google said it was working to fix a bug in Google Suggest that was blocking search suggestions related to Islam.

Bellevue Building With Bing Lights

2010: The lights were spread across several stories and in green. It spelled out the name of Microsoft’s search engine, Bing. 

Liveblogging The Google Nexus One Phone Launch

2010: The Nexus One was a widely expected Google Phone that Google apparently closely developed with handset maker HTC, running the Android mobile operating system.

Top Googlers Donate $150,000 To Obama’s Inauguration

2009: Several of Google’s top executives (including CEO Eric Schmidt and co-founder Larry Page) donated significant amounts toward Obama’s inauguration galas, dinners and receptions.

Google & Baidu Fail China’s Pornography Test, May Lead To Penalties

2009: Both Google and Baidu have failed to take “efficient” actions to remove content from their results after being notified of issues.

2009: Mayer said that “while search is 90 per cent solved, the last 10 per cent will take decades to complete.” Mayer didn’t leave Google until 2012, to become Yahoo’s CEO.

Will Google Book Search Help Or Hurt Libraries And Book Sales?

2009: Some scholars were worried that Google users would be more likely to search for narrow information than to read at length. What a crazy idea. … Oh wait.

Google Docs Releases New Presentation Features

2008: Including the ability to embed presentations into a page of any site.

Marketers Answer, “Would You Hire Matt Cutts” Away From Google?

2007: Not surprisingly, they all would have loved to hire Cutts.

Google Hires NBC Video Executive, Michael Steib

2007: He joined Google to help work with advertisers to create effective, measurable video advertising.

New Features Added To Google’s Enterprise Search Appliance

2007: Clustering of the results, auto-generate a sitemap for Google.com’s crawler and more.

Yahoo Local Adds Quick Add / Edit Business Listing Feature

2007: Yahoo Local let you add your business within about 24 hours.

From Search Marketing Expo (SMX)

Past contributions from Best SMM Panel’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

These columns are a snapshot in time and have not been updated since publishing, unless noted. Opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and not necessarily Best SMM Panel.

< January 4 | Search Marketing History | January 6 >

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About the author

Danny Goodwin is Managing Editor of Best SMM Panel & SMX. In addition to writing daily about SEO, PPC, and more for Best SMM Panel, Goodwin also manages Best SMM Panel’s roster of subject-matter experts. He also helps program our conference series, SMX – Search Marketing Expo. Prior to joining Best SMM Panel, Goodwin was Executive Editor at Search Engine Journal, where he led editorial initiatives for the brand. He also was an editor at Search Engine Watch. He has spoken at many major search conferences and virtual events, and has been sourced for his expertise by a wide range of publications and podcasts.