Google Optimizes AdSense for Mobile Phones

Google today introduced a larger mobile ad format optimized for the iPhone, Palm Pre and handsets powered by Android, its own wireless open source operating system.

The new AdSense format is designed to take advantage of what Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) calls “high-end smartphones,” which means mobile devices that use full HTML browsers, such as Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone, Android phones and the Palm Pre (NASDAQ: PALM).

Google AdSense is a way for Web site publishers to earn money by displaying targeted ads from Google’s ad network on their Web pages. AdSense also allows publishers to provide Google search to site users, and then earn money by displaying Google ads on the search results pages. Depending on the type of ad, publishers get paid when users view or click on the ads displayed. The Internet giant recently opened AdSense up to third-party networks.

The new JavaScript snippet that publishers need to use to benefit from the optimized ad units are designed to reduce latency on high-end mobile phones, Eric Obenzinger, of Google’s global communications and public affairs division, told

We put a lot of effort into making these execute faster, because on mobile, there’s less bandwidth available, so the code is very fast,” said Obenzinger. “This launch demonstrates how seriously we are investing in high-end mobile advertising.”

He also said if a user’s mobile site is visited by a high-end smartphone and the code is installed, the snippet will identify the phone as such and act accordingly.

“If you’re targeting all mobile devices, or if you’re unable to make changes to your Web site, you don’t have to update your AdSense code in order to enable larger AdSense ads to show on high-end devices,” writes Google software engineer Danielle VanDyke on the Google AdSense Blog. “We’ll automatically detect if the user is browsing with a high-end phone, and instead of serving a smaller mobile WAP ad, we’ll return a larger ad optimized for high-end mobile devices.”

Analyst predict the smarpthone market is headed for explosive growth as mobile advertising gains traction on increasingly powerful handsets that can run thousands of their own applications.

Forty million smartphone sales worldwide in the second quarter, a 27 percent gain from the same period last year, show that the high-end handsets are sustaining the ability to shine amid a wider slump in the mobile market, according to research firm Gartner.

And though still in its infancy, mobile marketing is expected to take off even as traditional ad budgets trail off, so it’s no surprise Google wants a slice of the action.

The amount of money spent worldwide on mobile advertising is expected to rise from just over $1.4 billion in 2009 to $6 billion in 2014, according to Juniper Research, with the Mobile Internet accounting for the largest proportion of total mobile ad spend for the first time in 2009, overtaking SMS advertising.

Meanwhile, brands are increasingly looking to interactive marketing to promote their products. Interactive marketing will near $55 billion and represent 21 percent of all marketing dollars spent in 2014 as advertisers shift money away from traditional media to search marketing, online display advertising, e-mail marketing, social media and mobile promotions, according to a recent Forrester research study.

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