Future of Mobile

Look out! More Mobile Search Ads might be right behind you!


OK, I’m not any more fond of statistics than you are, but sometimes they can reveal some startling information, such as the fact that in many of the world’s prime markets mobile phone penetration has exceeded 100%. More than one phone per person, and I can see that happening right in my own family. Let’s cut to the chase; Worldwide, the penetration rate is 98%; in the US, the penetration rate is 103% and 81% of those are smart phones, in China, the rate is 85.9%; Russia – 160%; Japan – 100%; Germany – 138%; Indonesia – 107%, and the list goes on. By the way, the rate of penetration is not slowing.

What this means

What this means to you as a marketer is that there are now more people with the capability to go online via a mobile phone than via a computer. Can you see all the $$ that might mean?

What it means to you as a consumer is that you can expect to see more ads on your mobile phone. I can hear the groans now, but wait; it may not be all bad, as we’ll see below.

Naturally, we are seeing the big players jumping on this. “Google, the world’s largest search engine and the owner of the world’s largest online advertising platform, has just been granted a major U.S. patent for “determining and/or using location information in an ad system.” In other words, Google now owns a key patent for location-based mobile advertising.

Nor are the Japanese electronic giants ignoring the call.  Hyundai’s patent application #US20130132198-A1 is similar in that it calls for “An advertisement system using an embedded map, the system comprising: A space of interest (SOI) server for generating location based data using an SOI object; and
an advertisement server for providing advertisement content information to an advertisement region of the embedded map using the location based data.” Hyundai is claiming that using time of day or text of advertisement to target ads to specific “spaces of interest” on a map is already a proven art. This patent has not been granted and in fact, is open for comments until mid-November, but the trend is becoming clear.

Is there an up-side?

Actually there may be some advantages of mobile search ads:Mobile_SERP_ads

  • For consumers – if Google proceeds with its usual alacrity we might expect that Google might (within a few years) be able to track individual users in near real time and by using a combination of weather factors, your recent travels, time of day, location and other Google magic, might decide that your recent travel information indicates that you are on a trip and have already gone 300 miles. That information combined with the time of day might lead them to start serving ads to your mobile, targeting nearby restaurants and accommodations, perhaps filling stations, if you haven’t stopped recently.
  • For marketers, granular real time targeting down to the individual? Being close to the ability to read the consumer’s needs, in near real time?  Bigger Market? Stop it! – You’re drooling all over the paper.

Certainly this will take gobs of processing power and may in fact be too much for individual Telcos, but I am sure Google will be happy to assist. It might even be that this would require too much processing power for Google, but given their history and their worldwide data centers I am betting that at worst, it will only slow them down a bit.

For those of us in the internet marketing business, it’s going to require a few changes, but that’s nothing new. Web designers will have to provide responsive designs and internet marketers will have to learn proficiency with mobile keywords and how to gain advantage in this new market.

That’s what I love about this business – never a dull moment.

BIO: Mel Nelson is a long time SEO who enjoys discussions about all things SEO. He is a self confessed Google addict and dreams about key words. You can find him on Linkedin or on his  Google+ Profile

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11 Responses

  1. It’s actually surprising how much Google has started to do this, even since this article has been written. I’ve attended several webinars and industry meetings since then, and it looks like mobile SERP ads are becoming more and more specific. It does really come down to whether you are logged into your Google account on your mobile browser though. Great insight, this is definitely the direction Google is going in.

  2. Indeed, ever since the invention of the smartphone, people have the privilege of having a computer that would fit in the palms of their hand. It does make sense that the big players should expand their marketing horizons to meet the demands of the smartphone era. More ads are coming up because they have to keep up with that current trend.

    1. Back in 1959 I was introduced to my first computer – a Burroughs whose model I forget but it took up several rooms and was “programmed” by putting pushpins through cards. A minor program would take a several cartfuls of cards.

      Today my smartphone has more computing power than that beast, and the next evolution may well be computers woven into the fabric of our clothing. The mind boggles, could there be adverts displayed on our shirts according to what we are thinking?

  3. Much appreciated for the writeup.
    Recently a company just launched a kit with allows running ios on android phones. What do you think about it?

    1. Hi Hoang glad to see your comments.
      Personally find running IOS on Android confusing – Android has more apps, is more open to customization, is better rated by experts and users and is a lot less expensive when it comes to apps, so other than running a familiar system on much less expensive hardware I suspect that this will not be a wave of the future.

  4. Hello there,

    Here i used this or marketers, granular real time targeting down to the individual. Being close to the ability to read the consumer’s needs

  5. ya mobile is the best thing thing for optimize the best thing at each and every single minute, it can’t use laptop or computer 24 hour but with mobile its possible

  6. Thanks for your comments Sara. We are living in an exciting search world where one day you computer may be like your best friend, and you can be sure Google will be a part of it.

  7. Whenever i start browsing on my mobile phone i.e. android, there are several advertisement running along with pages. Sometimes i want to get rid of them, but sometimes they are very much related to my search. You are also covering a great topic in this regard, and i really appreciate your way to writing that is more informative.

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