Google has now all but announced their "Click to Call" service which is presumably aimed at small businesses who do not have web sites. Now, you can place an ad on Google's sites that has a little picture of a telephone on it. The consumer clicks on the ad and is then prompted to enter their telephone number in a pop-up box. Once their telephone number is entered then Google automatically dial the number and connect the merchant with the consumer.
This could be big. It seems that the Kelsey Group believe that this infant market for "Click to Call" could be worth between $1.4 and $4bn by 2009. Mind you, they've given themselves such a wide margin for error that you've gotta monder how much finger in the air magic was involved. None the less, for those consumers who are OK with telesales calls to their home, this could be the way to go. I'm still a little confused about who pays for the call, but there ya go.
And it seems as though "Click to Call" is catching on with Ebay, Yahoo and AOL all launching services. Theirs differ though in approach and seem a little less slick than Google's. So, "Click to Call", along with Google Base, could prove yet another major nail in the coffin for traditional press listings and yellow pages companies.