Verizon Rings Up Pay For Calls SEM System
Verizon plans to announce an updated version of pay-per-click at this year’s Search Engine Strategies Conference and Expo in San Jose, California, according to Pandia’s Paul Bruemmer. SuperPages.com will feature ads that link directly to businesses’ phones to help seal the deal on a more personal level though a system Verizon calls “Pay For Calls.”
The guiding slogan of the soon-to-be patented technology is “If Advertisers Don’t Get a Ring, They Don’t Pay a Thing,” indicating that those participating in the system only pay when they get a phone call directly through an ad click on SuperPages.com.
“Our pay-for-performance technology and unique ad placement algorithm are so advanced that we’ve applied for a patent,” said SuperPages.com President Scott Laver.
Verizon regales the new system as one inherently protected from click fraud, as ad buyers will be able to measure directly the number of genuinely interested callers. Recent statistics also show that most buyers buy offline, preferring to call or visit establishments for direct translation. The Pay-For-Call system could be a way of bridging the gap between online and offline behavior in a world where many still don’t trust online transactions.
It’s not so much the originality as the technology that makes the system patent-worthy. Bremmer says similar systems have already been put in place by telephone-tech firms Miva and Ingenio for AOL and Go2. A bidding system similar to the pay-per-click method puts prices at a minimum of $2 a phone call, though Ingenio reports an average of $6 to $7, with some prices as high as $30.
The system works by placing a dedicated toll-free or local telephone number along side the ads that will buzz through to a business phone line.
Experts estimate the system may produce between $1.4 billion $4 billion in annual revenue by 2009, or a quarter of search marketing’s estimated spending.