Google Makes Proximity an Ad Ranking Factor, Opens New Mobile Ad Features

Google announced new mobile ad opportunities, including mobile-friendly ad “circulars” and the option for advertisers to send users to deep links inside an installed app. Additionally, physical proximity to the searcher is now an ad ranking factor.

Google’s New Mobile Ad Features, in Detail

Google took the opportunity to both recap their existing mobile ad features and unveil a few new tricks in a recent blog entry. New options include opportunities to send mobile searchers directly to a deep link within your app, ad “circulars” that let users send special offers and ad details from their desktop to their mobile device, and the announcement that the store’s proximity to the user’s current position (communicated via Location Extensions) will now be a ranking factor in the display of ads.

Extended Google App Extensions

The first new feature is a chance for deeper app interaction through the Google App Extensions for AdWords. Advertisers can now send users directly to a “deep link” inside the app. This link can send users to any standard location programmed in the app, allowing for a customized pitch and the use of the app’s stored data for a faster conversion.

Previously, advertisers could send users to the app page via an ad, but the deep-linking functionality is new. However, any user who doesn’t have the app installed will simply be sent to the download page, as per the previous App Extensions functionality.

“Ad Circulars” for Desktop/Mobile Interplay

adwords-mobile-circularsGoogle is now experimenting with “ad circulars” that show users a mobile-optimized set of deals, offers, or featured products. Users will see this ad whether they’re on mobile or desktop devices; those who access “circulars” via desktop will be able to quickly send the promotion to their smartphone.

Best Buy and Macy’s have been testing this format. It’s anticipated that circulars will be opening this option to the public by the holiday shopping season.

Proximity as a Ranking Factor

When mobile searchers share their physical location, ads from the closest stores will now surface. This happens through a new ranking factor: physical proximity. The closer your store, the more likely you are to rank higher – meaning that searchers will see the closest options while stores will target the users most likely to actually show up.

Advertisers will need to use Location Extensions to communicate their physical location to Google.

There are plenty of new tools for advertisers of every ilk. The mobile platform is smart, rich, exciting, and certainly opens up new opportunities. The question is whether your company is set to take advantage of them.

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