Google AdWords Being Enhanced for Tablets, Smartphones

Soon Google AdWords will be able to send the right ads at the right time to potential customers based on the devices being used.

Google is looking to add to its mobile ad revenues with enhancements to its AdWords tool.

AdWords, which lets Google send out ads to online users on behalf of advertisers, will soon get useful new capabilities that will serve up the ads with proper formatting whether they are going to tablet computers, smartphones or other devices.

The new "enhanced campaigns" feature was announced Feb. 6 in a post by Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google's senior vice president of engineering, on the Google Mobile Ads Blog.

"This is a first step to help you more simply and smartly manage your ad campaigns in today's multi-device world," wrote Ramaswamy. "People are constantly connected and moving from one device to another to communicate, shop and stay entertained. In fact, a recent study of multi-device consumers found that 90 percent move sequentially between several screens to accomplish a task."

And because of those multi-device requirements, AdWords is being improved to allow properly sized and configured, personalized ad content to be delivered to online consumers and the devices they are using, he wrote.

"This creates great opportunities for businesses, but can also make marketing more complex and time-consuming," wrote Ramaswamy. "For example, a pizza restaurant probably wants to show one ad to someone searching for 'pizza' at 1 p.m. on their PC at work (perhaps a link to an online order form or menu), and a different ad to someone searching for 'pizza' at 8 p.m. on a smartphone a half-mile from the restaurant (perhaps a click-to-call phone number and restaurant locator)."

The new AdWords changes will allow those kinds of differentiations in delivering ads, according to Google. "Signals like location, time of day, and the capabilities of the device people are using have become increasingly important in showing them the right ad," he wrote.

Now instead of having to manage separate ad campaigns for each kind of device, businesses will be able to manage their ad campaigns for all devices at the same time with the upgraded services.

"Enhanced campaigns help you reach people with the right ads, based on their context like location, time of day and device type, across all devices without having to set up and manage several separate campaigns," wrote Ramaswamy.

The enhanced AdWords services will also allow businesses to get advanced analytics reports that will show them how consumers are connecting to the ad campaigns, including information about the devices being used, the times of the interactions and the locations of the users.

The new AdWords enhanced features will roll out to advertisers as an option over the next few weeks, with availability to all users in mid-2013, according to Google.

For Google, the AdWords feature improvements are very important because advertising revenue is so central to the company's success and growth.

In December, research data from eMarketer showed that Google's mobile ad revenue outperformed analyst estimates for the third quarter, bringing in between $5.8 billion and $7 billion globally, according to an earlier eWEEK report.

In the United States, overall spending on mobile advertising, including display, search and messaging-based ads served to mobile phones and tablets, rose 180 percent in 2012 to top $4 billion, according to eMarketer. That's expected to reach $7.19 billion in 2013 and nearly $21 billion by 2016.

Fueled primarily by direct-response advertisers, Google controlled a 56.6 percent share of the U.S. mobile advertising market by late 2012, eMarketer estimated.

Most of Google's mobile ad revenue comes from search, and eMarketer estimates Google maintains a 93.3 percent share of the overall $1.99 billion U.S. mobile search ad market.

Spending on mobile search ads in the United States is expected to jump 55 percent, to $3.6 billion in 2013 —of which Google is expected to earn a 92.4 percent share.