Google is now ready to place ads from its clients on Apple's successful iPad, whose availability abroad was delayed until late May because demand for the tablet exceeded Apple's expectations.
Much like Apple's ubiquitous iPhone, the iPad uses a mobile operating system, runs mobile apps and offers a larger version of a touch screen with which some 50 millions iPhone users are already well-acquainted.
That is why Google is now listing the iPad as a mobile device for its AdWords ad platform, allowing advertisers to run their ad campaigns on the device. The iPad's large touch screen affords advertisers new opportunities because it offers a much larger palette than some agencies are accustomed to working with for mobile computing devices.
Google has a strategic reason for touting ads on the iPad. Apple April 8 introduced iAd, the company's advertising platform that will place ads to run within applications beginning June 22 with the launch of iPhone OS 4.
iAd is clearly a shot across Google's advertising bow, so Google needs to support AdWords on the iPad to avoid being subjugated by its rival in the mobile ad sector.
Google AdWords spokesman Dan Friedman said Google is confident in supporting the tablet after "rigorous iPad testing." AdWords users can edit the devices section in their campaign settings and select the iPad under "Advanced device and carrier options."
Advertisers may promote iPhone, iPad or Android apps directly by linking to the download URL in their ads. This way people can download their app straight from their ads. To make things easier, Google will handle the device targeting automatically when these ads show on mobile devices.
Friedman warned advertisers that ads placed on mobile devices such as the iPhone and Google Android smartphones won't show on the iPad. Moreover, ads won't show up for those whose device settings are set solely for desktop and laptop computers.
Apple and partner Best Buy have sold more than 500,000 iPads in the United States, making the machine and instant hit, joining the iPhone and iPod in Apple's pantheon of great consumer devices.
Google was prepared for this success. In addition to its placement as the default search engine on the iPad, Google adapted its core Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps applications to run cleanly on the iPad even before Apple launched the device April 3. Two weeks later, Google tailored Google Mobile App for the iPad.
This work goes beyond making sure consumers can access its Web apps on the red-hot iPad. Google is touting a "mobile first" strategy of reaching Internet users in the consumer sphere and in the enterprise. The company has decided to put its talent on building applications for the so-called third screen of mobile devices.
Along with that, Google has worked to make sure its ad products complement iPhone, Android devices and, now, the iPad.
"These mobile devices have exploded in popularity and have allowed advertisers to achieve incremental reach and great results," said Paul Feng, group product manager for Google Mobile Ads. "With these high-end phones making up 50 percent of mobile search queries, it's highly valuable for advertisers to connect with these users."
During the first-quarter earnings call April 15, Susan Wojcicki, Google's vice president of product management for ads, noted that Google increased its focus on the mobile space.
The company last quarter added click-to-call ads. These business ads feature links that let users click to call the business to get more information about products and services.