Google announced recently they’ve opened up their AdWords platform for advertisers wanting to target the iPad, while also hoping to stay relevant while Apple steals its spotlight in the mobile advertising space.
The iPad is now listed as a mobile device available for targeting within AdWords, though advertisers with ads placed on mobile devices like the iPhone or Android smartphones won’t show on the iPad, and vice versa. Google AdWords spokesman Dan Friedman said that Google is confident in supporting the tablet after “rigorous iPad testing,” and that AdWords users can edit the devices section in their campaign settings, and select the iPad under “Advanced device and carrier options.”
The company also touted the obvious fact that advertisers could promote their iPhone, iPad and Android apps by placing direct links to the apps’ download page in each AdWords ad. With Google being the default search engine on the iPad, adding AdWords targeting creates a nice ecosystem for Google to leverage the success of the iPad. Apple could yank it all away by replacing Google as the default search provider in its products, however, opting instead for a competitor or building something completely new.
Steve Jobs took a jab at Google in announcing Apple’s forthcoming iAd platform by saying “search wasn’t the future of mobile advertising, it’s all about mobile apps instead.” While that may or may not be true, Google’s main focus remains on search, and especially on mobile search. During the first quarter earnings call last week, Susan Wojcicki, Google’s VP of Product Management for ads, said the company has substantially increased its focus on the mobile space.
Google will undoubtedly roll-out an in-app advertising solution as well, though the FCC hangups with its purchase of AdMob isn’t helping things at all. It’s becoming clear that whatever Apple or Google come up with, the other will usually inevitably compete. Nowhere will this be more apparent than with mobile advertising.