Starting April, Google will begin disapproving of AdWords text ads with phone numbers. And, will force advertisers who want to display phone numbers to use the call extensions instead.
In a policy update, Google notes, that “in April 2013, we will begin to disapprove ads that were using phone numbers in their ad text before the March 2013 policy change,” adding “We are making this change to foster a safer, more consistent user experience across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices,” Google said.
“In the next few weeks, we will no longer allow phone numbers to be used in the ad text of new ads. Advertisers who would still like to promote phone numbers in their AdWords advertising can use the call extensions feature. We’re posting this alert now to provide adequate lead time to make ad changes,” reads the Google policy page.
Google further says, “Call extensions are best for you if you have a national service center, or if your business isn’t tied to a specific physical location.”
With AdWords call extensions, advertisers will now be charged for a standard ad click every time a mobile user clicks on the forwarding phone number link or “Call” button in the search ads.
“”Call extensions” (also known as click-to-call on mobile devices) allow you to add a phone number to your ad, making it easy for customers to call you directly.
The “Call” button is only displayed on a mobile device that’s capable of making a phone call. So, for example, an call extension ad will not show a clickable phone number on an iPod Touch–and will disaplay phone mumber as text only (on desktops, laptops and tablets).
Below is a screenshot of how call extensions look on the smartphone: