In 2014, half of Google’s searches will be on mobile. Which is precisely why investors were asking CEO Larry Page about mobile revenues in last month’s quarterly earnings call – and why Google is making big changes to AdWords.
On that earnings call, CEO Larry Page said he was “very, very optimistic” that Google’s mobile revenues would be going up, that Google was “working to simplify our ad system,” and that, although he didn’t have anything to announce immediately, the company was making “rapid progress in that area.”
Now we know at least part of what he was talking about.
Today Google very quietly announced new AdWords API features supporting “enhanced campaigns.” By ‘enhanced,’ Google means mobile. And despite the quiet launch, it’s the biggest change to AdWords in the last five years, according to one key member of the online advertising ecosystem.
“This is a huge simplification to how advertisers manage and track mobile advertising campaigns,” Larry Kim, CEO of search marketing firm WordStream, told me today.
The problem in the past was that AdWords was desktop-centric. Building a successful mobile marketing in the past essentially forced advertisers to create multiple campaigns if they wanted to target different cities and devices effectively, massively increasing complexity to the point that only about 5 percent of AdWords users were actually using the services’ advanced features.
The key difference today is that mobile is now baked in by default.