With all of the speculation over the alleged Google Phone still roiling the high-tech waters, Google took its next big step into the mobile search advertising world late yesterday with AdSense for Mobile, a program that will allow Google to sell ads for Web pages viewed via cell phones.
Google said in a blog post it will create an advertising network for cell phones to match targeted ads with mobile content.
The system will be similar to the way it sells ads for regular computers, meaning publishers will bid on ad space in an auction and pay Google when a user clicks on an ad.
"When you add the new AdSense for mobile code to your site, we'll display relevant ads using the same targeting technology that you are familiar with for existing AdSense products," wrote Alex Kenin, Google product marketing manager, in a blog post.
The network will also allow AdSense publishing partners to earn cash from their mobile Web sites through targeted mobile text ads, allowing advertisers to connect with mobile publishers.
AdSense for Mobile is intended for AdSense partners who have created Web sites specifically for mobile browsers, and who want to monetize their mobile content via contextual advertising.
The program will be available in 13 countries: the United States, England, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Russia, the Netherlands, Australia, India, China, and Japan.
It's great that Google has a system for mobile ads in place, coming less than a week after moving AdWords onto its Google Mobile Search product.
The Kelsey Group also recently reported that the mobile search ad market will, and this is a conservative estimate, top $1.4 billion in 5 years, which is why Microsoft went out and bought ScreenTonic and why AOL bagged Third Screen Media. Nokia just took out Enpocket yesterday.
I wonder if people will click on these ads. I don't think I would. I was surfing ESPN recently and I got a glimpse of an ad for Jack Link's beef jerky. Now, I don't care a lick for jerky, but the ads are called Messin' with Sasquatch and the fan of wacky in me finds these hilarious. So, I stopped checking baseball scores and clicked on the ad to make it bigger and let it roll.
I check ESPN scores and highlights on my mobile phone all of the time, but I wouldn't want to watch Messin' with Sasquatch on a tiny screen (all apologies to Apple's wicked cool iPhone). Look, Sasquatch is no King Kong, but he is still larger than life. Don't mess with him by putting him on a tiny screen.
I'm a sucker for funny ads, but if I can't see them clearly, I don't want them on my mobile phone. So, good luck Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, Nokia and anyone else venturing in these waters. Because I'm not clickin'.