Google Debuts Search Ads For Mobile Apps; Distance Will Now Factor Into Mobile Search Ad Rankings

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As the holiday shopping season approaches, more and more consumers are going to be using the smartphones to search for products, stores and more. Google is debuting a host of new mobile ad formats today, including one specifically designed for the search experience. Many apps feature search capabilities (i.e. Yelp) within the app, so with these new formats, app developers can place contextual ads within the app’s search.

Another ad unit allows businesses to use mobile search ads to direct someone right to a destination within a mobile app already installed on their phone. For example, if someone searches for an iPad on a mobile device, they might see an ad that takes them directly into a shopping app they’ve installed on their phone.

With 40 percent of mobile searches on Google are related to location, local mobile ads are a huge market. In fact, Click to Call are now driving millions of calls per week. Along with the in-app search ads, Google is also making a number of announcements related to local mobile search ads. The search giant is announcing that proximity will now be a factor in mobile search ads ranking.

So the distance between a user and an advertiser’s business location will affect how an ad performs in AdWords. Of course, the feature will be effective only when consumers opt in to share their device location for mobile searches. This could be a big deal with the holiday shopping season coming up, with more local searches for products and stores.

Google is also launching circulars, a new ad format for retailers. When someone clicks on a search or display ad (on desktop, mobile or tablet devices), they may see Circulars, which contain photos of relevant products and special offers. Users can email that circular to their mobile phones, and later walk into their local store, flash their phone and redeem the offers.