Last week, Brafton reported that Google aims to get into the local market – potentially through mobile ad solutions. In what could be a step toward improved local ad options, the […]

Last week, Brafton reported that Google aims to get into the local market – potentially through mobile ad solutions. In what could be a step toward improved local ad options, the search giant today announced a number of mobile developments marketers may like.

In the Google Mobile Ads blog, the company claims that its mobile searches grew 130 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of 2010. Additionally, the company references Mobile Marketing Association data that indicates 59 percent of holiday shoppers will use their mobile phones to inform purchase decisions this season.

With this in mind, Google is now offering the Seller Ratings extension for mobile users. Seller Ratings are taken from review sites around the web, and when on-the-go consumers search for a product or service, the ad units will display businesses' ratings and clickable links to the sellers' reviews.

Marketers may be pleased to learn that this extension is designed to work in their favor – Google explains, "the extension will only show when a merchant's online store has a rating of four or more stars and at least 30 reviews." Advertisers can manage their Seller Ratings extensions through a page in their AdWords accounts.

This new element introduces a social component to mobile marketing, as user-supported brands might catch more mobile sales – and this isn't the only social feature Google has announced for mobile this week.

The company also announced a Google Latitude app for iPhone in its Google Mobile blog. The application helps marketers reach iPhone users with Google's word-of-web marketing tool. Through Latitude, users can let friends know where they are and easily connect with people – and businesses – in their neighborhood.

Both of these developments are good news for mobile marketers: They bring word-of-web referrals through Google to more mobile users, and this could translate into mobile commerce. As Brafton has reported, m-commerce is expected to exceed $119 billion in 2015. 

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.