Google is making updates to its Google Maps that allow retailers and brands to capitalize on the growing number of mobile and local searches.

It is experimenting with paid features like “promoted pins” that show up on Google Maps, and the ability to add details like special offers and product inventory to a Business Page when users click on these pins. For example, a user might see Kohl’s on the map when they drive past a location. These new ads are expected to roll out later this year. 

According to the millions of web sites using Google Analytics, more than half of all web traffic now comes from smart phones and tablets. And of the trillions of searches each year, more than half of those happen on a mobile device. And as mobile usage proliferates, so does the need for location-based searches and services. Google estimates that one-third of mobile searches are related to location, and that location-related mobile searches are growing 50 percent faster than mobile searches.

Today, ads and commerce senior vice president Sridhar Ramaswamy will share a number of these findings and updates with this mobile-first mind-set during the company’s Google Performance Summit.

The length of text ads in AdWords will also expand, as will the length of headlines and descriptions. Headlines will increase from one 25-character limit to two 30-character headlines, and description length will change from two 35-character description lines to one 80-character description line. The changes are set to become available later this year.

Marketers will also be able to choose which device most suits their business, as Google will begin allowing them to set individual bid adjustments for each type of device, be it a mobile phone, a tablet or desktop.

Earlier this month, Google shared additional updates that enhanced the mobile shopping experience. Inventory from advertisers that use local inventory ads will now be searchable on The inventory will also appear in the local Knowledge Panel (where information like store hours and directions is displayed).

In February’s earnings call with investors, Google chief executive officer Sundar Pichai emphasized the ongoing push to improve search on mobile. “Google helps advertisers reach the right customer in precisely the right micro-moment, when they are looking to buy something, go somewhere, know something, or do something,” Pichai said. “Mobile is really helping us make these connections for marketers.”

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