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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Is AdSense for Mobile a New Google AdWords Hidden Network?

Today, Google announced AdSense for Mobile. The press release states:
As part of our ongoing efforts to develop new ways for users to find the information they need anytime and anywhere, Google announced today the availability of AdSenseā„¢ for Mobile, a program that contextually targets ads to mobile website content... With this new program, the unmatched reach of the Google content network is extended to the mobile platform.
A few days ago, they automatically opted in all AdWords advertisers into Google Mobile Search. That sounds like a completely different product from AdSense for Mobile. It appears as though there will be both search advertising and contextual advertising across mobile platforms. That's all well and good but why bury this within the existing AdWords system? I think this will cause confusion for AdWords advertisers. Why not create a separate network for mobile? There's already a hidden ad network. Advertisers don't need another.

Here's a suggestion for Google. Rather than force advertisers to opt in to AdSense for Domains and now AdSense for Mobile, give us some choices. Via the AdWords interface, we can opt in or out of AdSense for Search (search network in AdWords) and AdSense for Content (content network in AdWords). Why not make it explicitly clear to advertisers what they're purchasing and allow us to target campaigns for these different AdSense products? They are different enough to warrant more control in AdWords. I'd like to see ad campaign distribution options like this:

Google AdWords Network Choices

Such choice would minimize distribution fraud and would also mitigate the perception of click fraud.

More coverage of the AdSense for Mobile launch here and here. I'll post more about the AdSense mobile choices from the AdWords perspective when I understand it better. Subscribe to Apogee Weblog for future updates.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Is AdSense for Mobile a New Google AdWords Hidden Network?"

Yes.

"That's all well and good but why bury this within the existing AdWords system?"

It is buried so that advertisers do not know where their ads are showing.

"Why not create a separate network for mobile?"

Because too many advertisers would opt out of such a network.

"Why not make it explicitly clear to advertisers what they're purchasing and allow us to target campaigns for these different AdSense products?"

Because Google doesn't want advertisers to know that many times their ads are showing on extremely poor quality sites. Click fraud and (I really like your term) "distribution fraud" help to keep Google's revenue numbers up, which keeps the stock price up, which keeps Larry and Sergey's net worth's high, which keeps them near the top of Forbe's "Wealthiest" list.

Follow the money.

Fri Sep 21, 12:54:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Thanks for the comment. I do want to point out that I didn't coin the term distribution fraud. I think it's important to give credit where credit is due. I found the term on the blog of Chris Zaharias. Read this post and this post from his blog for the background.

Mon Sep 24, 03:23:00 PM EDT  

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