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Google upgrades AdWords for mobile

New-look platform aims to make it easier for advertisers to target mobile searches, increasing uptake and fees


Published: 11 February, 2013

READ MORE: Google | Advertising | Applications (Search) | Android

As mobile traffic explodes, giants like Google and Facebook are still facing challenges in monetizing it. The former has upgraded its AdWords platform in a bid to improve the attractiveness of mobile systems to advertisers.

It says the revamped AdWords will help brands target internet searches more accurately on mobile devices, and so enhance the returns on their ads. The updated platform will allow them to target consumers based on their "location, time of day and device type, across all devices without having to set up and manage several separate campaigns", says Google.

The difficulty in fully transitioning Google's sponsored search platform from PCs to smartphones and tablets was seen as the main factor in a 6% decline in its 'cost per click' during the fourth quarter of last year.

Now it will see its clients rolling out enhanced campaigns from March, and all users should be upgraded by the middle of this year. "Enhanced campaigns represent the biggest single change to the basic structure of AdWords campaigns in the past 10 years," Larry Kim of WordStream, a search marketing agency, told the Financial Times. "Mobile search has been growing incredibly quickly - it's actually expected to outpace desktop search by next year. But Google has had a big problem monetizing that traffic."

Facebook has faced the same issues, which proved a major factor in its disappointing IPO last year and in pressures on its share price since. However, the social giant has started 2013 in more upbeat mood, with investors reacting well to changes in its services for mobile advertisers, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg even proclaiming Facebook was "now a mobile company".

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