Story from Yahoo news about American Online rolling out a new advertising service that helps small businesses get their phone numbers in front of web searchers via a "Pay Per Call" service.
Privately held Ingenio Inc. provides the technology and advertiser services for the new AOL ad program, called "pay per call."
As with so-called pay per click Web search ad services from Google and Yahoo, ads are served up when Internet users search for specific items — for example "mortgage, San Francisco, CA."
The Google and Yahoo ads are delivered in the form of links to an advertiser Web site. Advertisers bid for the price they will pay for each click their ad receives.
Pay per call delivers ads in the form of business listings. Advertisers bid for the price they will pay for each call. Each time a consumer calls a business using the toll-free telephone numbers provided by the ad, the advertiser pays AOL and Ingenio.
The minimum bid for pay per call is $2 per call since person-to-person contact is often viewed as more valuable. Per-click prices for search ads provided by Google and Yahoo start at just a few cents.