Step No. 3 of every new AdWords campaign, when advertising on the mobile AdSense network, requires a check in the box indicating that the ads will also run on mobile high-end phones. It reads: "iPhones and other mobile devices with full Internet browsers."
Prior to the launch, AdSense mobile for publishers could only serve up smaller text and image ads on their Web site content. Google had the search tools; now it also offers the content tools. Advertisers can reach consumers with search ads, in-application ads and now on mobile-optimized Web sites.
Think of the feature as an image of the existing desktop tool for AdSense applied to mobile Web browsing. Successful companies tend to attract customers to new products and features by designing them to look and work similar to existing tools. This reduces confusion and the time it takes to get up and running.
Google believes it has solved some of the issues based on numerous platforms and standards that once made it difficult for mobile advertisers to efficiently reach consumers. "If you wanted to run a search campaign on an older WAP flip-phone, you needed to target people by carrier on a specific phone," says a Google spokesperson. "Because the iPhone, Android and Pre run on full HTML browsers, it levels the playing field."
The AdSense feature launch represents Google's investment in technology for high-end devices to make mobile browsing intuitive for consumers, and a powerful tool for advertisers to reach those devices.
The hope is that the feature will help advertisers connect with consumers on the more than 177 million units expected to ship this year, according to Google Software Engineer Danielle VanDyke. In a post on the official Google blog, VanDyke cites Gartner's global smartphone sales estimates as rising 27% in 2009.