The Google vs Apple Clash of the Titans continues with the mobile advertising industry buzzing about the new iAd platform. Steve Jobs stated in his iAd announcement that most mobile advertising “sucks” and that “on a mobile device, search is not where it’s at, not like on a desktop.”
I have to respectfully disagree wholeheartedly to Steve’s last statement. I use my Droid smartphone WAY more than my desktop or laptop – even when I am at home and the computers are easily accessible. It’s just more convenient to have the information right there at my fingertips to be able to sift through quickly. The amount of searches I perform for local restaurants, stores, coupons, song lyrics etc. from my smartphone is staggering (admittedly, I’m probably addicted to my phone more than the average user, but still…). I truly believe that Apple has no chance in overtaking Google in any advertising arena, even Mobile.
The iAd announcement will, however, hopefully prove to the FTC that Google’s acquisition of AdMob is not the monopoly maker they thought it would be. Google seems to love healthy competition and barely even flinched when Bing.com was born – they seem to realize that there is plenty of business to go around in the paid search world.
With mobile advertising anticipated to become a HUGE revenue producer in the next few years, who can blame Apple for wanting to capitalize and take their share of the pie? Industry numbers indicate that over $400 million was spent by mobile advertisers in 2009 and analysts predict that by 2013 that number is expected to nearly QUADRUPLE! This is definitely enough projected revenue for all the key players to make their fair share of profits and make their shareholders happy.
So, like I said in my last blog post…no one knows who will win this battle OR the raging war between Google AdWords and Apple iAd, but as long as people are using their PCs and mobile devices to search the internet – Google wins.
A battle of epic proportions is brewing as Apple is anticipated to announce their mobile advertising platform (rumored to be named “iAd”) tomorrow at their April 8 iPhone OS 4.0 Event. The smartphone pioneer Apple acquired Quattro Wireless in January, 2010 for $275 million and it appears that they are ready to join Google in the mobile advertising arena, an arena that has been receiving quite a bit of federal scrutiny since Google’s purchase of AdMob for a whopping $750 million in late 2009.
After Apple bought Quattro, Google posted a Public Policy Blog welcoming Apple into the mobile ad space. Google stated that Apple’s acquisition of “Quattro Wireless is further proof that the mobile advertising space continues to be competitive. And with more investments and acquisitions in the space, including from established players like Apple and Google, that’s a sign that vigorous growth and competition will continue. That’s ultimately great for users, advertisers and publishers alike.”
Although the gesture is nice and professional, it leaves me wondering whether or not Google will be singing the same welcoming tune once Apple starts implementing their competitive mobile advertising systems. Sure, Apple buying Quattro looks good to the Feds for now, but we all REALLY know that there is only one true online advertising behemoth. Google has online advertising on lockdown – it will be interesting to see how this all plays out and to see if Apple manages to squeeze their way into the mobile advertising market and become a true player.
So, the Clash of the Titans continues between Google’s search advertising dominance and Apple’s consumer gadget/application expertise. Bottom line is this: Google becomes better and better the more we use the internet (whether leaving Yelp reviews, commenting on blog posts, tweeting, etc…) while Apple is merely helping us to use the internet more with their fancy devices. So, really it doesn’t matter who wins the Clash of the Titans – no matter what, Google wins. Even though I can already assume the outcome, I am still excited to see who will cash in most on the mobile advertising gold rush that is sure to come in the next few years.
Just as the prices have plunged on smart phones and data plans, mobile searches have skyrocketed. This obvious inverse relationship can also be credited to “smarter” smart phones with faster browsers capable of accessing data with the swift flick of a button. “Soon we’ll have mobile phones with 2Ghz processors, which is more than in a lot of laptops,” predicts Google’s vice president of engineering, Andy Rubin.
Lower prices mean higher accessibility to the masses. Smart phones are no longer exclusive to business professionals but include users ranging from teenagers in New York City to farmers in Iowa. What does this mean to you and your business? No matter your industry, your product or service is going to be searched for using a smart phone. Jump into the still-shallow pool of mobile-friendly advertisers now to capture the most market share.
You don’t have to have a specialized mobile website in order to take advantage of this lucrative new search market. If you’re using a desktop PC, use this handy tool from Google to determine if your website is mobile-friendly and navigable through the eyes of a smart phone: Google Mobile Browser. Try, for example, to search for “JumpFly”. Once your page of search results appears, click into the JumpFly site and see the way our site would appear on a mobile browser. Not quite as flashy and full of color as our HTML-rich site, but still mobile-friendly, organized and inclusive of our main content.
Not able to see your website? Keep in mind that mobile browsers are not yet capable of flash display. Also, mobile phones use internet browsing technology called WAP (Wireless Application Protocol). Due to the limitations of WAP browsers in terms of screen size and allowable download, you may need to simplify your current website design. Here are a few important principles about mobile website design that you should consider when making the most user-friendly mobile website:
• Know your customers in order to deliver them the most appropriate content: mobile users interact with your site differently compared to traditional customers sitting at a desk facing a large monitor. Mobile customers might be waiting in line, commuting to work, or lost in an unfamiliar town and trying to get somewhere.
• The most important information that you want users to see should be located at the top of the page. It can be time-consuming for mobile phones to browse through an entire site; placing the most desirable information at the top will provide the most convenient site experience.
• There is no mouse on a mobile phone – only an up-down feature – so you can’t demand that users jump around the page.
• Always provide a ‘back’ button or link, since many phones don’t include a back button.
Once your website is mobile-ready, you are ready to drive your most targeted traffic to the site using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Stay tuned for my next blog with tips and best practices to build your most effective mobile PPC advertising campaign!