Is the mobile Web converging with the sedentary one? Google apparently thinks so.
The search giant has begun distributing AdWords campaigns to handheld devices with full HTML browsers — beginning with Apple’s iPhone and its own touch screen handheld, the G1 from T-Mobile.
Google says these phones can handle standard AdWords ads and landing pages without requiring modification or other special action by marketers, and it believes extending advertisers’ reach in this way only makes sense. “Last year, we released a metric that the iPhone delivered 50 times the number of searches any other mobile platform [did],” said a Google spokesperson. “A lot of people are searching on these things.”
But he added Google did not have ready statistics on how its users interact with search ads on these devices. To allow marketers to better measure the impact of the change on their campaigns, Google is offering performance reporting broken out by device.
Additionally, AdWords advertisers can create campaigns targeted exclusively to iPhone and G1 owners. Separate calls to action can be created for all mobile users, or even for the users of individual devices. That approach might be desirable for marketers of iPhone or other mobile apps, or for the makers of device accessories.
According to M:Metrics, 68 percent of iPhone owners use the device to conduct searches. Meanwhile, 40 percent of owners of devices with HTML browsers use them for searching, and 10 percent of people with any device type do so. ComScore-owned M:Metrics said it does not have enough data to measure the search patterns of G1 device owners.
Campaigns will be distributed to iPhone and G1 browsers by default. To turn the capability on or off, AdWords users must visit the Networks and bidding section of the campaign interface and check or uncheck the box next to “iPhones and other mobile devices with full Internet browsers.” Marketers using Google’s pre-existing mobile ad formats will not be affected by the change.
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