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Call extensions: Google My Business telephone numbers may appear on AdWords

Starting January 19, 2017, the way in which phone numbers are displayed has changed on Google AdWords. Previously, only advertising accounts with a call extension could have their phone number appear on their ads. Now, Google My Business phone numbers may appear on all accounts that have a location extension.

As a result, phone numbers on Google My Business may be preferred over call extensions.

Why us the information on Google My Business?

Google is increasingly promoting Google My Business cards, whether it’s for local website SEO website, or for AdWords advertising. Google no longer allows advertisers to add a location extension to AdWords unless they own their clients’ Google My Business card.

The information provided on the company profile appears with high visibility on the search engine and is considered very relevant in the eyes of Google.

This change means that the numbers used via call extensions are not always used on ads for numbers provided on Google My Business.

Call extensions and location extensions are part of the seven ad extensions on Google AdWords. It is especially recommended to use their full potential when creating an AdWords campaign.





The advantages of using the information on your business card

Highlighting the Google My Business phone number makes it possible to standardize the search results pertaining to a singular company on Google. Indeed, it may happen that search results indicate different phone numbers for the same company.



As we can see from the above Wordstream screenshot, two different phone numbers are used for the same company. The number on the left is the Google AdWords call extension, and the number on the right is the one in Google My Business.

These two numbers can confuse users. Users may wonder, for example, if an error was made on the ad or on the Google My Business card. By promoting the Google My Business number, this company will be able to display only one phone number on its listing in search results.


If you do not manage your Google AdWords account on your own, you may wonder why another phone number is being displayed on your ads. Advertisers can create specific tracking numbers to ensure you accurately record the number of calls from your advertising campaigns. This allows you to accurately measure the performance of AdWords campaigns.

Calls can be a very important source of conversions for some companies. Thus, by creating this option, Google will not reduce the number of calls from a company. However, recorded calls from AdWords advertising may decrease if the call extension is disadvantaged. You might therefore say that your ads are not working as well as they used to, however this is not the case, as you simply haven’t been recording all the calls you’ve received.

This disadvantage in terms of conversion tracking is a problem that Google is aware of. An advisor at Google has confirmed that in-house teams are working to improve tracking for online advertising.

What can you do if you don’t want to use your Google My Business phone number on your AdWords campaigns?

If you want to favour your call extension phone number at the expense of the number shown your Google My Business card, you have two choices:

  • Remove the Google My Business location extension to use only the AdWords call extension. This option is not recommended because location extension is a huge asset for targeting customers close to you.
  • Contact the Google team to have this option removed from your AdWords account. This will have no impact on your rate of impressions and the phone number of your call extension will be used for your online ads.

However, if you want to keep the Google My Business number for your ads, it is strongly advised to check that all information on your listing is up to date.


If you have an ongoing Google AdWords campaign, it is important to be aware of this change to the display of phone numbers. This new feature may seem minor, but can affect your performance results.

Feel free to make sure that every call from your advertisements can be tracked. For example, make sure your tracking number also appears on your site when users arrive through online ads.

To learn more about Google AdWords or to hire a professional for your advertising campaigns, do not hesitate to contact us!


Cofondatrice et Spécialiste SEO-SEM

Eugénie a commencé sa carrière en marketing Web chez Microsoft auprès de partenaires tels que Hewlett-Packard et Dell. En 2013, elle co-fonde My Little Big Web avec Maxence afin d'aider les PME à optimiser leur marketing Web. Ses compétences en SEO, publicité en ligne et expérience utilisateur permettent aux clients de My Little Big Web de se positionner rapidement et durablement en haut des résultats de recherche. Le partage de connaissances fait partie de ses priorités. Elle donne donc de nombreuses formations internes et externes ainsi que des conférences sur de multiples thèmes relatifs au marketing numérique.