Google made a major move into the mobile advertising world on Monday with a new program -- AdSense for Mobile. The search king is banking on mobile devices becoming increasingly popular. Even now, there are more mobile devices worldwide than PCs and TVs combined.
AdSense for Mobile is Google's self-proclaimed effort to develop new ways for users to find the information they need anytime and anywhere, but the underpinning is advertising. The program contextually targets ads to mobile Web site content. As its name suggests, the program aims to give AdSense publishing partners more opportunities to earn revenue through the targeted placement of mobile text ads.
"With this program, advertisers can connect with the growing number of mobile publishers, ultimately providing users with an enhanced mobile experience that helps them find what they are looking for more quickly and efficiently on the go," Google said in a published statement.
Marketing in a Mobile World
AdSense for Mobile is not just for any advertiser. The new program aims at AdSense partners who have created Web sites specifically for mobile browsers and who want to monetize their mobile content via contextual advertising. That's a smaller percentage of Web sites today, but a number that promises to grow in the future.
Like Google's other AdSense products, mobile text ads run on an auction model. The system automatically reviews the content of publishers' mobile Web sites and delivers text ads that are relevant to the Web sites' audience and content. Publishers earn money whenever mobile users click on the ads.
"Cell phones are the most personal of personal technology and carried by individuals everywhere, which makes them an almost ideal medium for targeted ads," said Avi Greengart, a mobile devices analyst at Current Analysis. "However, at the same time, that could also lead to a backlash. You don't necessarily want your device overrun with ads."
AdSense Opportunities Abound
The potential opportunities for Google in the mobile market are clearly vast. Frost & Sullivan figures the mobile advertising market in the U.S. alone will generate $2.12 billion in revenue by 2011 compared to $301 million in 2006. The Shoesteck Group estimates $10 billion globally by 2010, while EJL Wireless Research pegs the worldwide mobile advertising market at $9.5 billion by 2011.
Google already has signed pacts to get its search software on mobile handsets, but the AdSense for Mobile program is more of a direct push into the mobile advertising market. The question now is whether Google will spend billions of dollars in the upcoming action for wireless spectrum or even develop its own handset.
"In some markets, particularly emerging markets, the phone -- not the computer -- is where you get your data. So this move takes a long-term view," Greengart said. "Google definitely sees the mobile market as a supplement or maybe even a potential successor to the wired Internet."
AdSense for Mobile will be available in the United States, England, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Russia, Netherlands, Australia, India, China, and Japan.