• Provides more options to blend local advertising and search
  • About one-third of all mobile searches are location-specific

Google is releasing new advertising products and services to take advantage of the way people use their smartphones to search for items, then often buy in nearby stores rather than online.

Google said it now handles trillions of searches a year, with more than half coming from mobile devices. About one-third of its searches on mobile are location-specific. The new products, which include more detailed text advertisements, additions to Google Maps, and new ways to buy ads, were announced Tuesday by the Alphabet Inc. subsidiary at the Google Performance Summit in San Francisco.

“It’s very clear to all the advertisers we speak with, that mobile is here, it’s really the mainstream,” said Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president, Google ads and commerce.

Some advertisers are paying more for Google’s mobile ads than for its desktop ones, as the emphasis of the company’s $40 billion-a-year business shifts to mobile devices, he said. Google wants to be able to better show how ads on its search engine translate into in-store sales. “This year, around 90 percent of all global sales will happen in stores as opposed to online,” said Jerry Dischler, vice president of product management for Google’s ad business.

New ad products include enhanced listings on Google Maps, ads that re-shape themselves according to the website they’re seen on and expanded business descriptions in sponsored links. Along with that, Google said it can measure, with more than 99 percent confidence, whether an online advertisement yielded an in-store purchase. The U.K. subsidiary of Nissan Motor Co. saw that 6 percent of clicks on mobile ads resulted in someone visiting a dealership, yielding a 25 to 1 return on investment, Google said.

Google will also let advertisers change how much they pay depending on whether they use mobile, computers or tablets, letting them tweak campaigns according to the device.

“It’s useful because every device has different intents, different conversion rates,” said Frederick Vallaeys, the chief executive officer of Optmyzr, which provides tools for advertisers and marketers, and a former Google employee. “In the past tablets could have been a money pit. You had to buy it as part of the desktop traffic. Or it could have been doing really well and it was a missed opportunity.”

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