Google has announced that it is beginning to test a new feature of its AdWords called AdWords Comparison Ads, which lets users compare multiple, relevant offers more easily. Comparison Ads is part of Google's efforts to make ads more relevant and useful to users and to help its advertisers reach the people who are most interested in their products and services.
Google's AdWords uses a host of targeting and relevancy signals to determine the best ads for each query. However, sometimes a user's query doesn't provide enough information for the search engine to confidently predict what they want. Take, for example, users who search for "mortgage." Do they want a new home loan or a refinance? Do they want a fixed-rate or an adjustable-rate loan? Comparison Ads improves the ad experience on Google.com by letting users specify exactly what they are looking for and helping them quickly compare relevant offers side by side. Through Comparison Ads, users can also target offers from advertisers at a more granular level, leading to more valuable, qualified leads.
For example, users searching for "mortgage" on Google.com may see a promotion from Comparison Ads prompting them to select the type of loan they are looking for and to compare various rates (see the image below).
If they click the promotion, users are taken to a page with more detailed sponsored results. They can choose directly from the offers listed on that page, or they can further refine their search by providing additional information like income and home value. By giving users the ability to refine their search on a number of relevant attributes, Google is able to show more targeted ads and provide you with more valuable leads.
Once users find an offer that matches their specific needs, they can either call the advertiser directly or request a quote. If a user requests a quote, Google automatically anonymizes the user's phone number and sends the advertiser a unique code that you can use to contact the user. The advertiser only pays if a user calls the phone number on your offer or fills out a form to request a quote.
While Comparison Ads is still an early-stage feature, Google has focused on a number of ways to enhance the user experience:
►Speed: Comparison Ads shows targeted offers in less than a second. There are no long forms for users to fill out. Users see specific offers immediately and only need to fill in additional information if they wish to further refine their results.
►Transparency: Comparison Ads only shows real products. There are no teaser rates, or bait and switch offers. Comparison Ads also standardizes the information presented to users, making it easy for them to sort and compare offers on a side by side basis.
► Privacy: Comparison Ads won't send advertisers any user information, including anonymized phone numbers, unless the user explicitly requests more information about an advertiser's offer.
At this time, Comparison Ads will only show to a small number of users in select U.S. states and is only available to a limited number of advertisers in the mortgage/refinance space. Over time, Google will increase the number of users who see Comparison Ads offers, as well as the number of advertisers able to participate.
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