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What’s New on Google: AdWords Comparison Ads

Stephanie S October 29, 2009 Category Paid Search (PPC)

Extra, extra. Google just announced a new (albeit still in the works) feature: AdWords Comparison Ads.  Google’s new baby is still in testing and only available to a small number of advertisers in the mortgage/refinance fields, but this development is already piquing the interests of many Google advertisers!

What’s this new feature all about?

While Google may be smarter than you and your fifth grader, it still can’t always figure out a user’s specific intent from a very general query (ie, “mortgages”). Enter comparison ads. When a general term like “mortgages” is searched on, the engine will prompt a user to clarify their intent a little bit more. Clicking on the promotion will bring up a new page with more detailed information from Google advertisers. From there, users will have the option of picking a winner or further refining their search.

Google Comparison Ads

But hold your horses. If you start searching for mortgages hoping to catch glimpse of Google’s newest celebrity, don’t be disappointed if you don’t see the ads yet.  Not all users can view the ads since they’re only available in certain states in the US.

The Google User: At the heart of it all

Google is committed to providing users with the best search experience, and their newest innovation definitely follows suit. Comparison ads can help a user sift through advertisers’ offers immediately and at-a-glance to find exactly what they need and allow them to compare offers side by side.  The information is standardized for easy and convenient comparison.  Additionally, when a user decides to contact their business of choice, their information is made anonymous.  Advertisers are given a special code to contact their prospective customers. Users remain anonymous unless they request more information about an offer.  And when information is presented as it is below, how can it not prompt advertisers to be competitive for the user’s attention?

Comparison Ads

Get excited about the possibilities

Comparison ads can help users, but how would they help you and your business?  Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter yet. This is a new feature available to a select few, and Google hasn’t announced which new fields comparison ads will branch out to. But the possibilities are there.  This would be right up the alley of businesses that sell specific products at competitive prices.  A feature like this can truly allow advertisers to promote their items specifically and obtain the most qualified leads by doing so. And get this: Google says a business is only charged when a user contacts them, which brings up questions about any new bidding strategies that may surround comparison ads. I know I’m excited. Read more about comparison ads in Search Engine Land’s recent article.

More to come as this latest development unravels…

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