Google redesigns local ad formats for Android maps

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is reformatting advertisements served in its Maps application for the Android operating system, promising to more efficiently connect merchants with potential customers via mobile search.

The revamped Maps ad formatting makes calls to action like "get directions" and "click to call" more prominent within the body of the ad and makes them clickable in more places. Google is also introducing a new hyperlocal marker that shows users how close they are to an advertiser's location. In addition, clicking the ad now takes the consumer to an advertiser's website from directly within the app.

"These [changes] have produced measurable results," writes Jay Akkad, Google product manager for mobile ads. "In initial tests, these redesigned formats increased click-through rates by 100 percent."

Google states that millions of users access Maps for Android each day. The service has now provided more than 50 billion kilometers of turn-by-turn directions. Last month, Google released Maps for Android 6.7, integrating location-specific daily deals offers from merchant partners.

Google is on pace to generate 2012 mobile advertising revenues in excess of $4 billion, according to a forecast issued in January by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Earlier this month, Google finished integrating the AdMob mobile ad network into its signature AdWords platform, enabling more than a million online advertisers to reach consumers on mobile devices.

For more:
- read this Google Inside AdWords blog entry

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Forecast: Google mobile ad revenues could top $4B in 2012
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