Google Primes for Mobile Search Surge

Google's mobile image ads come at an opportune time in the development of the mobile search market.

Anyone wanting evidence that the mobile search market is heating up need look no further than Google's recent mobile brand-image search ads and integration with DoubleClick.

These ads, unveiled April 23, are tailor-made for the smaller screens of mobile devices, such as BlackBerrys, iPhones and Treos. Google has been offering mobile search text ads for a while with its AdSense for Mobile program, but these new ads are different.

They are essentially mobile display ads, using images to sell the products or services, which-as with TV compared with print-is more effective at capturing viewers' attention.

Google is providing these ads in Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, as part of an effort to standardize an industry fragmented by country-specific startups.

Then, on April 30, Google announced that AdSense for Mobile content publishers who have configured their sites to display mobile image ads can now have ads served to their sites from DoubleClick Mobile.

This means more advertisers for AdSense for Mobile content publishers, more inventory for DoubleClick Mobile advertisers and, ideally, more relevant ads for mobile Web browsers.

"Combine a more effective advertising format with a more effective ad platform, and voila!-a golden opportunity to capitalize with advertisers looking for improved click-through rates," IDC analyst Caroline Dangson wrote in an April 30 note.