Without a Query or Context – Ads on Mobile Apps Are NOT Search Advertising

By Tad Miller | Jun 9, 2010
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Adsense for Mobile Apps

Notice the Google Ad Onscreen

I recently wrote about how Google’s new adsenseformobileapps.com was showing our clients Content Network Ads on mobile phone apps like Pandora, StyleM Galleries and CompSMS.  The shocking part about this was that Google is completely ignoring its “rules” for how Content Network is supposed to work – the content on the web page viewed matches the keywords you want to advertise on.

The mobile apps in Adsense for Mobile Apps for the most part have no content that matches any of the keywords in our clients Google Adwords Accounts.  When an AdWords ad appears on my Droid Phone’s Pandora Music App, it’s not matching keywords to song lyrics or song titles.  Google is was showing the Ads of my highest bidded Ad Groups (I excluded adsenseformobileapps.com from showing our ads).  Those Ad Groups had high bids, because the keywords within them were great at converting.  But those keywords were of no consideration when it showed those ads on mobile apps and because they had no relevance they did NOT convert well.

I obviously think that Google is doing a serious disservice to its advertisers, by just “blending in” clicks from mobile apps as just being the same kind of contextually triggered clicks advertisers get from it’s Content Network.  Advertising on Apps that have no keyword content that triggers ads or that don’t have a way for the app user to query or search for something within the app are not Search Advertising.  Ads of this nature are purely Display Ads.

Display Advertising is not as effective as search advertising.  Display Ads are “push” media that is forced upon people that aren’t necessarily looking or interested in it.  Search Advertising is “pull” media that uses relevance of what searchers are looking for or reading to bring relevant advertisers to them.

Display Advertising definitely has its place and uses, and Google needs to break out it’s Advertising on Mobile Apps as a product offering separate from its Content Network.  With the consummation of it’s $750 million dollar purchase of AdMob Google’s reach in mobile app advertising is about to get HUGE.

Location Based Advertising

How Location Based Ads Work

The great promise of mobile App Display Advertising is what analysts have been raving about for years – Location Based Mobile Advertising.  Perhaps no other form of digital advertising has more potential to drive people into traditional brick and mortar local businesses.  The “Relevance” part of this type of digital advertising has nothing to do with keywords and everything to do with where you and your mobile phone are at right now.

mobile coupon

Mobile Phone Coupon

This is the perfect way for the “Mom & Pop” restaurant to advertise what today’s “Special” is to people using Apps – like Pandora – within 5 miles of the restaurant.  This kind of mobile advertising is already pretty big in Europe and Asia, and it will be the main force that brings mobile phone coupons to the masses.

Location Based Mobile Advertising has the potential to give local businesses the kind of advertising reach that only a large billboard, or expensive local newspaper advertising could only previously do, and do it for a fraction of the price.  This is what Google should be selling it as.  But don’t call it Search.

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