Google To Stuff Images Into Mobile Phone Ads - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
4/24/2008
10:15 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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Google To Stuff Images Into Mobile Phone Ads

Google has decided that cell phones and the mobile Web are ready to display ads with images embedded in them. It announced the new program yesterday, whereby at least one ad per mobile page will have a graphic image. About time, or will it clutter mobile Web pages?

Google has decided that cell phones and the mobile Web are ready to display ads with images embedded in them. It announced the new program yesterday, whereby at least one ad per mobile page will have a graphic image. About time, or will it clutter mobile Web pages?For now, the images will be limited to brands, and not actual products or other pictures. Google says that the mobile image ads will all be targeted by keywords, and are priced on a cost-per-click basis. They also have to link to a mobile (not a standard) Web page.

Google believes the program will be good for advertisers. Alexandra Kenin, a product marketing manager for Google Mobile Ads, wrote in a blog post, "For advertisers, mobile image ads serve as a branding tool and have shown to have good clickthrough rates. Advertisers using mobile image ads will also benefit because we only show one image ad per mobile page. For publishers, mobile image ads provide added flexibility. 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. Publishers who are already using AdSense for mobile content just need to update their AdSense code to start displaying mobile ads on their site."

Google also claims that this will be good for those searching the mobile Web, as it will provide a different way to interact with mobile content. Because the ads are targeted by keyword, users won't be slammed with ads for things that are irrelevant to them. It also claims that it won't gum up or slow down browsing the mobile Web, which we all know is still not a perfect experience to begin with.

"The mobile ads work very well," said Google co-founder Sergey Brin. "There's nothing to dissuade me it would be any worse than traditional desktop search."

I've poked around a number of Web sites with my mobile phones this morning and have yet to see any images appear in the Google ads served on those pages. Same goes for search results. Users of AdSense appear to have not gotten the message yet that they can activate this functionality.

I've seen branded images appear on mobile Web pages served by Yahoo. They weren't overly intrusive, but they do take up screen real estate. I don't mind advertisements on standard Web pages as viewed on my desktop. Having a 19-inch screen means I have plenty of room for content. Mobile devices are different. When you only have 2 to 3 inches of screen to look at, adding ads (examples here) will force users to scroll around more to get to the content they're interested in.

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