Proximity As a Factor in Local Search Ads Ranking
Yesterday Google’s Mobile Ads Product Manager Surojit Chatterjee made an interesting announcement about innovations in the mobile search advertising context. A big portion of the news have to do with local search ads for mobile devices. The most important of these is the introduction of a new ads ranking factor:
Proximity as a factor in mobile search ads ranking: The distance between a person and an advertiser’s business location is now a factor in mobile search ads ranking. This means an ad for a business with a physical location close to to a consumer may perform better in AdWords—driving more mobile traffic at a lower cost. The feature will be effective only when consumers opt in to share their device location for mobile searches. It will make our hyperlocal format more useful for businesses and users—advertisers can get started with this by creating Location Extensions for their mobile campaigns. Particularly this holiday season, when consumers are using their mobile phones to find a nearby store for last minute gift purchases, this new feature will help connect customers with storefronts.
As noted, this factor will be taken into account only if the user agreed to share their current location and if the advertising business has opted for the location extension feature when targeting mobile device users via their AdWords campaign. The innovation could be very useful and seems beneficial for all parties affected:
- The business owner will be potentially paying less as the ads will be targeted better, i.e. the click-through rate would probably increase significantly as they will be more relevant to the current needs of the mobile user
- The customer would get more satisfactory results as distance is a very major factor in mobile search
- Google will be showing more relevant content
Besides this, Greg Sterling claimed in a Search Engine Land article that “Google now officially says that 40% of mobile queries are related to location” – a claim that I was unable to verify in Google’s blog posts. Whatever the case, local is of great importance for mobile search and Google obviously understands that judging by all the new features that they introduce related to mobile device users.