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by Samantha Noble on 17th February 2010
The shift from static to mobile Internet gathers momentum as Eric Schmidt that Google are a ‘mobile first’ company.
No longer satisfied with conquering the static Internet, Google have now announced their intention to do the same with the mobile form. During a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress, Google’s Chief Executive, Eric Schmidt, announced that their programmers would be “doing work on mobile first”. With the technology, expertise and brand power at their disposal, now is the time to really start taking mobile search advertising seriously.
It’s not only Google moving over to the mobile internet, it is the consumers themselves – in their millions. New devices are flooding the market and providers are increasingly integrating online minutes within their tariffs and contracts. The lines of accessibility, affordability and interest are drawing steadily closer. Mobile search advertising is also a growing market and one that could become hugely lucrative to those who master it first.
With AdWords, Google already have the most successful search advertising platform. When it comes to the mobile Internet, there is still clearly work to be done. As we announced last month, Apple are considering integrating Bing as their default search engine [see: Can Bing (With a Little Help from Apple) Topple Google in Mobile Search?]. With the iPhone being the most popular smartphone in the world, this clearly gives Bing – and the Microsoft advertising platform that runs on it – a major advantage, giving cause for concern for their competitors – including Google.
Unfortunately it isn’t just as simple as transferring AdWords over lock, stock and barrel. The mobile Internet comes with its own limitations. Screens aren’t as large. Resolutions aren’t as good. Some phones just can’t load certain pages. It needs a new approach, and this is exactly what Google are doing by becoming a ‘mobile-first’ company.
In his speech, Schmidt also discussed how mobiles offer a “more enhanced localised opportunities”. This of course is its major selling point, and what differentiates it from the traditional web. With a phone, camera and the Internet all blended in one device that sits in your pocket; they are the perfect search tool. It offers a convenience that your desktop computer just can’t compete with.
With Google admitting that they’re turning their attention away from traditional and towards mobile search advertising, it’s clearly time for marketers to take it seriously. This is an entirely different medium. Therefore it requires a whole new approach; not only from the providers, but by those who advertise online. Consumers aren’t just searching from their PCs. As Schmidt rightly points out, mobiles offer a far more targeted and flexible approach for people to find you; now it’s up to you to ensure that they do.
With Microsoft and Google competing tooth and nail in mobile search advertising, we can expect there to be a fair number of developments in this field in the coming months. It’s a lucrative market for them, which means there is an equally decent opportunity for advertisers to get their share. Mobile search is something to take very seriously; Google’s statement of intent is just another indication of where the future lies.