Google to Charge for Directions Clicks in AdWordsMay 31st, 2011 | By Anet Dunne | Category: News
Today, Google notified American-Storage.com that they would be charged for clicks to “Directions” as well as clicks on the AdWords headline which goes to the website. Will this affect your business the same way? Charging for “Directions” clicks would be an excellent idea if American-Storage were a self-storage place like Public Storage, but it is a pod storage warehouse, like P.O.D.S. This is how their AdWords ad looks in an “Everything” search for “storage pod.”
You would need a fine eye to notice that the addresses of American-Storage and P.O.D.S are almost identical. P.O.D.S. and American-Storage are next door. If you click on the + next to the American-Storage address, this is how it expands.
Google will now charge American-Storage the same for a click on Get directions (see arrow above) as a click on the ad headline. The statistics show that very few visitors to the map look for directions to American-Storage, probably because American-Storage delivers the warehouse storage vault to your location, then comes back a few days later as scheduled to pick it up. To avoid paying for “Directions” clicks we would have to eliminate the address extension on the ad so we are going to roll with the change because the address extension makes our ad bigger.
Not all ads look like ours, however. This screenshot from the Google article about the changes to “directions” clicks in AdWords appears to show the blue pin associated with a Boost ad.
This ad does not offer an expandable address with a + to reach a map, just a “Directions” link. If it is a Boost ad, this may make sense for businesses like restaurants. Searchers could put in the name of the restaurant and click on the “Directions” link to find their way. Restaurants would rather pay for clicks that deliver hungry customers than clicks to their website! But Boost advertising is not ideal for every business. See my article on some expensive pitfalls in Boost advertising.
The Smartphone search results are even more interesting. More useful to the searcher, more expensive to the business. When the searcher clicks OK, the advertiser is charged.
This is ideal for people on the road searching for lodging, auto repair or merchants for a specific item. Traveler’s services will greatly benefit from this service. But be careful, don’t use it indiscriminately, because people searching on your business name on Boost will not get a free listing — your business will show only as a ad link that boosts your click charges to Google.