The other day in a short period of time, I came across two seemingly contradictory pieces of information about Google's ability to adapt to the mobile ad space. On one hand, CRM Daily published an article called Are Cell Phones a Threat to Google, and then almost immediately afterward, I got an email alert from IDC called 'Google's New Mobile Search Ads Offer Image, Scale and Uniformity.'
As a journalist, nothing pleases me more than when I find two sources of information that completely contradict each other because it gives me the opportunity to compare and contrast them and then add my own opinion. Ben Kunz, the CRM Daily reporter who wrote the article, believes the smaller screen size is a threat to Google's dominance when he writes:
"Google can now fit about 10 ads on a standard computer screen. [If you look at Google search results on a PC monitor, paid ads are the listings at the very top and along the right.] But on your cell phone, if you type in a search query at google.com you get only one or two paid ads in response."
Well, yes, that's true, there is less real estate, but the mobile web space also offers a tremendous opportunity to Google and to publishers because it offers another place to display the ads, even if the screen size is admittedly smaller. As Caroline Dangson, an IDC analyst points out in her email report, the folks at Google have a found a way around this problem:
"...Now Google is offering what is essentially mobile display ads. Display ads are often worth more than text ads because advertisers often deem them more effective at capturing viewers' attention. Display ads viewed on the mobile Internet are worth even more to advertisers who understand that their personalization, immediacy, and interactivity may encourage higher response rates for consumers on the go..."
Kunz points out later in his article, that the data suggests a growing shift to the mobile space, but he seems to suggest that Google has been slow to adapt to this change when in fact, it has already found a way to monetize the growing mobile space. In an interview today for an article I'm writing for StreamingMedia Magazine on 'life-casting,' I asked Magnify.net CEO Steve Rosenbaum, why companies can make money off ad dollars today after failing miserably at this during the dot.com bubble of the late 90s, and he said, in a word because of Google.
Dangson states that if Google can do for the mobile what it did for PC-based internet search advertising, it will be tremendously successful indeed, and she points out, Google has a leg up here because of its past success in this area. I couldn't agree more. While there are other players in the mobile advertising space, who has a better chance to succeed than Google? As I see it, the mobile space is hardly a threat to the likes of Google. Instead it simply offers them a new frontier to add to their growing dominance in internet advertising.