Google Unfurls Banners for Mobile Ads

Google unveiled its mobile image ad service, which allows publishers to create rich-media ads along with more traditional text ads for the relatively untapped mobile advertising market.

The service, Mobile Ads, can also be tied with AdSense and like other Google products will use keyword targeting to display relevant advertising for users. The caveat is that advertising must link to a mobile Web page, according to a blog post by Alexandra Kenin, the product marketing manager for Mobile Ads.

Seeking Clicks

By tying together Mobile Ads and AdSense, publishers can automate the advertising delivery services to serve the advertisements that have generated the highest click-through rates.

“For publishers, mobile image ads provide added flexibility,” Kenin wrote. “They can now choose to show text ads, image ads, or a mix of both and Google will dynamically return the ad that we expect will perform best at the time the ad is shown.”

Google’s foray into the mobile display advertising business comes as the growth of mobile advertising continues skyrocketing.

Spending on mobile advertising is expected to reach US$1.3 billion this year, according to JuniperResearch. While SMS messaging continues to dominate most campaigns, video-related services and multi-media displays are expected to be the primary driving force in the near future.

Google now joins other industry heavyweights — such as AOL and Yahoo — chasing the mobile display advertising dollars.

Advertising on the Go

Despite the projected growth of mobile video ads, banner and text advertisements are still the mainstays of mobile advertising, said Derek Handley, CEO of The Hyperfactory, a mobile advertising company that handles media planning, buying, production and implementation of mobile ads.

Video, much like location-based advertising, is here, but for most companies, those types of services aren’t yet relevant.

“Most of the bread and butter are in the text and banner ad networks,” Handley told the E-Commerce Times. “The more advanced functionality is more targeted at niche and emerging markets.”

That makes services such as Google’s Mobile Ads so valuable.

Companies need to begin thinking about mobile advertising — which requires a mobile Web site — because handhelds are ubiquitous and people expect to have access to information at their fingertips.

This is not one of those things you can put off anymore,” Handley said. “It’s got a huge reach even from a few years ago. You can see real returns comparable to your online revenues.”

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