Report: Google looking to use offline data to grow ad sales

|By:, SA News Editor

The WSJ reports Google (GOOG) has launched a pilot program that fuses data about a user's AdWords search ad clicks with offline purchase data from the likes of Acxiom (ACXM) and DataLogix - those two firms are already partnering with Facebook and Twitter.

Google's reported goal: To provide advertisers with better data about the extent online activity drives offline purchases, and in doing so motivate them to ramp their AdWords spend.

Benny Arbel, CEO of ad tech startup myThings: "If Google can demonstrate that people did not just click on an ad but that they actually bought something, that is the Holy Grail."

Google's effort could prove particularly helpful on mobile, where its ad prices remain relatively soft (moreso for smartphones than tablets) and users are often less likely to follow up on an ad click with an online purchase.

A recent comScore-backed survey found 78% of U.S. mobile searches for local information led to offline purchases. Moreover, comScore states "nearly half of all service, restaurant and travel searchers were looking for a business they have never made a purchase from before."

In addition to Google, those figures could have positive implications for YELP.