If you click on the green phone icon, it opens the ad up to enter your phone number. According to Google’s Click-To-Call FAQ “Google foots the bill for all calls, both local and long-distance“
It was only last week that Google and eBay announced plans to integrate and launch a “click-to-call” advertising functionality within eBay’s U.S. & international marketplaces and on Google’s search platform. So this implementation is pretty rapid!
“The click-to-call capability will allow a user to click on a link or icon within a product or service advertisement to initiate an Internet voice call to participating eBay merchants or Google advertisers directly from either company’s respective sites, using Skype or Google Talk.”
This service doesn’t appear to have extended itself into Google (UK) Local. i.e the same search query doesn’t bring up the advert from Directline Holidays, although it does bring up the same bmi baby advert.
I guess we will soon see several of the UK based companies that already use Google Maps start to integrate the GTalk API into their mashup service. At the moment I cannot find any commercial terms for this service, but assume that the click to call rates will be the same as the click through rates, but what will be the charge rates for people using the GTalk API? Will Google still make those calls free?
Finally, last weeks Google-Ebay press announcement mentioned the possibility of future interoperability between Skype and Google Talk via “open standards” to enable text, chat and online presence. Firstly being able to text, chat or see the presence of an advertiser directly from their advert would be amazing. On the other hand getting Skype (proprietary) and Google Talk (XMPP) to communicate with each other may be more challenging but if it happened it would place a great deal of pressure on MSN and Yahoo to open up their propretary standards and if they all agreed on an interoperability standard (please let it be XMPP) then we would have finally a federated IM capability.