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Google Testing Pay-per-Call Solution

New York Times reports that the company, whose empire is based on its ability to connect people and businesses through computers, is now connecting them the old-fashioned way � over the phone. Makes you wonder, why weren't the telco online Yellowpage sites trialing this innovation first?

Starting late last year, the site began showing green phone icons next to selected advertisements that appear with search results. When the icon is clicked, the user is prompted to enter his or her phone number. The phone will then ring, with the business on the other end of the line (dial-up users would have to disconnect from the Internet first).

Google is not charging marketers for the service yet, but analysts say it is a sure bet the company will, thereby ushering in the era of "pay-per-call" advertising in earnest. "Google's entry into this market will popularize this whole space," said Greg Sterling, an analyst with Kelsey Group, a marketing consultancy. "And given the sheer volume of advertisers, this could generate considerable revenue for them."

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