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Facebook may be struggling to find ways to effectively deliver advertising to its rapidly growing mobile audience, but the search giant some believe the world's largest social network could one day challenge apparently has no such problems.

On Friday, Google announced new ad formats for Google Maps for Mobile, and according to the Mountain View-based company, "mo' lo' means mo' dough."

When comparing the old local ads format to the new, there is a world of difference as you can see below. Originally you would see:

By making calls to action like "get directions" and "click to call" more prominent, adding a "hyperlocal maker" that shows how close a user is to a business, and allowing ad clicks to load advertiser websites in the Google Maps for Mobile app itself, Google says its new ads have boosted click-through rates by 100% in initial tests.

In announcing its achievement, Google also published a case study indicating that T-Mobile used Google mobile ads to drive 160,000 click-throughs with a CTR of 13%. For comparison, a recent study by social advertising agency SocialCode found that Facebook's mobile news feed delivered a far less impressive CTR of 0.79%.

Of course, CTR is rarely the best metric to use when evaluating the success of a campaign. It's what happens after the click that counts. On this front, Google apparently delivered for T-Mobile too, with the mobile carrier claiming that its mobile ads "generated 20,000 phone calls to stores in one month."

So is it a safe bet to say that Google will extend its digital advertising dominance to the mobile world? At this point, that seems like a good possibility. And for good reason: Google is the company individuals turn to when they're looking for something -- whether on the desktop or mobile.

While mobile presents some unique challenges for all companies, connecting demand to supply is likely a far easier task than connecting supply to demand.

Patricio Robles

Published 25 June, 2012 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2380 more posts from this author

Comments (2)

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Michael Essany

Watching Google grow and evolve in the mobile ad space has been interesting and incredibly educational in terms of their high profile learning curves. All told, its amazing how these real-world examples are instructing the nascent mobile ad industry on the tools and tactics that lend to a successful mobile ad campaign today. The team at Airpush recently published an insightful blog about the role of targeted, highly relevant mobile ads. Definitely worth checking out: http://www.airpush.com/blog/redesigning-messaging-relevance-how-we-grew-to-2/

about 4 years ago

Dean Marsden

Dean Marsden, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai Ltd

Well it looks a lot more relevant to the map results to feature an advert with pin marker and clearer instructions. I think the directions feature is a good idea.

In your screenshots Patricio, in the old style users would see a Google listing, but in the new format users would go straight to the site and not have the option of viewing a Google places profile?

I can definitely see how this might increase CTR's and conversions. However I'm left thinking that sometimes people just want to view a Google places profile page in order to check reviews? What's your thoughts on 'actions' versus 'research'?

Thanks for sharing the updates. Google have been promising to invest more into Mobile and this is a good start. I think Mobile is just as unknown for them as it is for us, so testing is needed.

about 4 years ago

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