More on Google mobile advertising…

There seems to be something wrong with making ads for my iPhone. Is it me? Or is there something Google isn’t telling us? CHRIS THOMAS

Chris Thomas

By Chris Thomas

This week I intended to update you on the Google mobile advertising experiment, but I blog more confused today than last week.

Just to re-cap, I bought a new iPhone, and created my first Google mobile ad to see what it would look like and where it would appear. So far, I haven’t been able to see it and have no idea where it appears. So what’s going on?

OK, let’s go back a bit and review what we know.

Back in 2006 Google issued a press release spruiking its new “mobile ads” feature in Japan. Here’s a little of what Google said at the time…

… Now, when users in Japan search with Google on their mobile device, ads relevant to their search keywords will display on their (Google) result pages.

…Rather, than displaying on the side, however, mobile ads display on the top and bottom of the search result page. The user can jump to the advertiser’s mobile webpage by clicking the link provided or can make a call directly to the advertiser just by clicking the “call” link in the ad.

…Google mobile ads also provide an opportunity for advertisers to expand their reach. Just like existing AdWords for the PC, advertisers can bid for keywords that will bring potential customers to them. The advertiser will be charged when a user clicks on the link to their mobile website or the “call” link.

Here’s the thing. Using my iPhone I can’t see the mobile text ad I created; all I can see is a “real” Google ad sitting at the top of the search results. The mobile ad isn’t being out-bidded, because the ad that ranks first is also one of ours from another campaign with a lower bid amount.

It’s true that Google is only showing one ad at the very top of the results, (there’s no ad that I can see at the bottom as they claim in the press release), but the ad at the top is NOT a mobile ad.

The weird part is that in the Google AdWords environment, I can see that there have been 508 impressions for the week (that’s how many times the ad has been “displayed”) – healthy bid amounts, perfect ad positions and OK quality scores. Hey, I’ve even received a click!

Google mobile ad results

I’ve got the AdWords account linked to Google Analytics, so I drilled into the metrics and looked at referred traffic from the Google mobile ad. Sadly, the one visitor referred hasn’t shown up in Google Analytics so I’m not able to collect any info on, say, the screen resolution they used or which region they’re from. Also, there are no really meaningful reports in Google AdWords itself.

If I’m missing something in all of this, please, someone let me know!

My hunch is the iPhone is a completely different kettle of fish in terms of its technology and screen size compared to other web enabled phones. Perhaps Google has a setting in its algorithm which recognises the iPhone (or screen resolution) and serves standard Google ads as it knows the device can handle it?

So my apologies, no answers or tips this week, just more questions…


Chris Thomas heads Reseo, a search engine optimisation company which specialises in creating and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.

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