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Google Now Charges Clicks on Directions for AdWords Location Extensions

Launched in 2009, Google's "location extensions" tool allows advertisers to attach relevant phone numbers and addresses to their AdWords ads. The new format updated in February makes it possible for potential customers to find local businesses more easily with quick links to directions on Google Maps. Formerly, this information was available to customers without costing advertisers a penny. However, the search giant announced last week that it is now charging for clicks on directions in the same way it does for clicks on an ad's headline or phone number.

Although the purpose of the service is to provide important information to local customers about a business, not every advertiser is prepared to pay for clicks.

Advertisers who do not want to pay for clicks on directions can opt out by removing the location extensions associated with their campaign.

In a blog post on the announcement, Google reminds advertisers about the benefits of location extensions and adds, " we encourage you to carefully analyze your campaign performance before doing so [opting out]."

According to Google, advertisers can track performance metrics for clicks on directions by selecting "Segment", then "Click type" from the summary tables.

- Melanie Saxe

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May 31, 2011