2 Important Google AdWords Extensions Updates (and What You Need to Do)

— January 13, 2017

It’s easy to say that mobile and local are two of the most important factors in marketing right now when three-quarters of US adults own a smartphone and local searches are growing 50% faster than mobile searches. And when a powerhouse like Google makes adjustments specifically to AdWords’ mobile and local search results, you pay attention.


Within the past two weeks Google has announced two updates that will affect AdWords advertisers. Especially those who use call attribution technology to track and analyze how their paid search ads are driving calls. These changes are:



  1. Location extensions will now automatically include phone numbers from Google My Business
  2. Automated call extensions in mobile search ads that will automatically pull phone numbers featured on landing pages

These updates prove that Google recognizes the importance of phone calls to businesses (which makes sense when mobile marketing will drive nearly 130 billion calls in 2017). However, both changes require action in your Google AdWords account to avoid disruption to your call tracking, attribution, and reporting.


We wanted to break down the changes, including when they’re going to happen, what it means for those using call attribution, and the action we recommend our customers to take.


Location Extensions to Automatically Include Google My Business Phone Numbers


As of January 19, 2017, for advertisers using both call extensions and location extensions Google may begin showing the local retail phone number when a location extension is shown, even if a different number is specified in a call extension for that campaign.


What Does This Mean For You?


If an advertiser does not opt out of this update by January 19th, calls from those location extensions would not have tracking and the impact of your paid search ads could be skewed. Additionally, these local locations may not be equipped to handle the increase in call volume – volume that may have been previously routed through a call center.


What Do We Recommend?


We recommend that our clients choose to opt out of his change by completing this form by January 19th.


*It should be noted that Google warns opting out may result in a loss of impression and call volume. However, if an advertiser does not opt out they will be sacrificing keyword-level call attribution, call duration reporting, caller metadata insights, differentiation between new and return callers, conversation analytics, integrations to CRMs, and spam prevention.


This form must be completed before January 19, 2017, to avoid any disruption to call attribution and reporting.


Introduction of Automated Call Extensions in Mobile Search Ads


Google recently sent some advertisers communication about a change that will begin February 6, 2017. They are introducing automated call extensions in mobile search ads that will automatically pull phone numbers featured on landing pages.


What Does This Mean For You?


After February 6th, if advertisers are not using Google call extensions but have a strong call-to-action for searchers to place a phone call, Google will automatically create call extensions using the number on the business’s landing page.


For our customers, if you do not opt out you would be able to receive call attribution and call duration reporting, but could potentially lose caller metadata insights, differentiation between new and return callers, conversation analytics, integrations to CRMs, and spam prevention.


What Do We Recommend?


We recommend that our customers opt out of the automated extensions by February 6th. There is an option to opt out of automated call extensions within AdWords, in the ad extensions tab:



  1. Select “View: Automated extensions report”
  2. Scroll down to “Automated extension options (advanced)” and click on “Edit”
  3. Uncheck the option for “Automatic call extensions” under “Do not use specific automated extensions in this account”


This opt out should be completed prior to February 6, 2017, to avoid any disruption in call attribution and reporting.


These updates are extremely important to make to ensure there are no disruptions to your call tracking, attribution, and reporting. If you have any questions about these changes, please contact our support team at 877.295.5100.


And if you’re interested in driving more calls and sales from paid search, check out The Click-to-Call Playbook for Paid Search.

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