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Google Revamps Mobile Search Ad Formats

Andy Penfold

Google has announced a series of new mobile ad formats and features for mobile apps. The new advertising techniques include a range of new search-based ad formats as well as local and hyper-local options. 

The company has announced Custom Search Ads for mobile apps. These allow businesses to advertise in apps that let the user search for information. "These ads provide useful and relevant answers, for people searching within a mobile app," says Surojit Chatterjee, Google's senior product manager, mobile ads. "Custom Search Ads will also help app developers earn more money to fund their apps and grow their businesses on mobile."

The company is also offering Click to Download ads. This offers users who are searching for information about mobile apps to download apps instantly - by linking straight to the relevant app store. 

Another new ad unit - Mobile App Extension - allows advertisers to link mobile consumers to an app they already have installed on their phone. Mobile App Extensions are in beta for now. 

In the location-aware advertising space, Google has added proximity as a factor in mobile search ad rankings. "The distance between a person and an advertiser's business location is now a factor in mobile search ads ranking," says Chatterjee. "This means an ad for a business with a physical location close to a consumer may perform better in AdWords-driving more mobile traffic at a lower cost. The feature will be effective only when consumers opt in to share their device location for mobile searches. It will make our hyperlocal format more useful for businesses and users." 

'Circulars' is a new ad format, which has been in testing with campaigns from Macys and and Best Buy earlier this month. These are ads that promote special offers, and allow users to email the offer to their phone and show the phone in-store to redeem the offer. 

"The exciting thing for mobile users and businesses is that the possibilities for mobile search advertising are nearly endless," says Chatterjee. "We're looking forward to helping businesses and consumers alike take advantage of this brave new (mobile) world."

To read Chatterjee's full blog post announcing these new features, head to the Google blog.