Google added mobile image ads to its AdSense arsenal yesterday. The format replicates that of other mobile networks, but industry authorities say it provides greater reach for the mobile Web.
“While this doesn’t appear to be something new or innovative… knowing Google, it brings additional scale and targeting capabilities, trust, and sophistication for the mobile channel,” said John Hadl, CEO of mobile media and marketing agency Brand in Hand.
Hadl’s view is shared by senior analyst at M:Metrics Evan Neufeld, who thinks a move like this from Google could develop efficiencies for taking creative from the Internet and scaling it to mobile. “As a general trend, mobile is such a small buy right now, everyone is trying to save costs,” he said.
About Google’s entry into mobile display, Neufeld said, “Based on the fact that Google already has huge reach, good for Google, good for the industry.”
Google opened a mobile version of AdSense for publishers last fall, and let advertisers opt in through the AdWords dashboard to place text ads. For image ads, essentially banner or display advertisements, advertisers and media buyers have the option to upload banner images through the AdWords dashboard when placing buys. There are four banner format sizes, depending on the publisher’s page size requirements.
Publishers are required to update their AdSense code to start publishing display ads on their site and can opt to run text, display, or a mix. In the case where both text and display ads are being shown, Google will dynamically run the ad it determines will perform best in the spot. Image ads are keyword-targeted, and are priced on a cost-per-click basis. In order to run, each ad unit must link to a mobile Web page.
Google’s AdSense network is a group of off deck publishers outside of carrier networks. Sites are accessed on any phone with browsing capability.
Mobile image ads became available yesterday on the AdSense network in the U.S., U.K., Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, and Spain. A number of advertisers tested image ads during a beta period; however Google did not name any specific advertisers.
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