Google has begun testing a new click-to-call service

From the Entireweb Newsletter and everyone else, Google is testing click-to-call with their adwords advertising.  This makes sense as a logical next step.  But the local telcos can’t be excited about google offering free telephone connections in lieu of 1-800 toll-to-the-advertiser calls.

Google has begun testing a new click-to-call service that lets people speak with advertisers on its search results page without having to pick up the phone and dial.

A Web surfer can click a phone icon adjacent to an ad, enter his or her own phone number and then click a "connect for free" button. Google’s service calls the advertiser’s phone number and when the Web surfer picks up the receiver on his phone, he or she hears ringing as the call to the advertiser is connected, according to a Google Click-to-Call frequently-asked-questions page..

and the competition?

In August, Microsoft said it had purchased Teleo, an Internet calling company with the potential to allow MSN to offer click-to-call capabilities.

From a public relations perspective, can we run google advertisements that generate phone calls to OTHER people?  How do you feel about x-y-z issue?  Call your congressman today. or similar?  Perhaps the prank phone call from the days of our youth is back?  Of course there is an entire generation that never had the joy of calling bowling alleys with questions about 10 pound balls …. nevermind.

Googlemanu On a more exciting note, search engine journal is reporting that Google or Yahoo may be Manchester United’s New Sponsor!  Now that would be cool and would certainly help introduce "football" to the US even more than it already is.  Google Video is apparently already a pretty big fan of Manchester.