Recent reports from the WSJ Online and the Times Online suggest that Google may position themselves as mobile middlemen – provisioning content discovery through a new search platform (similar to their desktop Product Search – formerly known as Froogle) as well as the mobile transaction itself in a ‘gateway style’ solution.
Personally I can’t see it. Facilitator of Mobile Web growth and capitilisation of ad placement yes, but Google – organisers of the world’s information – an insurance broker – nah!
Of course, the success of mobile contextual advertising is totally dependent on the mass adoption of the Mobile Web. And sure as eggs are eggs, Google is gearing up in every which way possible to make it happen. Having spent months working with content providers it is clearly evident that they are seeking to index as much content as possible and find new ways to engage the mobile audience – but IMO with one goal – to underpin their advertising model.
Google has one of the largest, most loyal customer bases on the planet – across both sides of the fence – advertiser and publisher. The success of their business model is one of anonymity – meaning that once the provider is married to the searcher (and beyond basic policing of the system) they don’t get involved.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt, in a recent address concerning Google’s mobile strategy, commented:
What’s interesting about the ads in the mobile phone is that they are twice as profitable or more than the nonmobile phone ads because they’re more personal
No doubt we can look forward to a wealth of new applications for our handsets; including social networking, mapping, news, product and media search – many of them direct from Google Mobile Labs. And I’m sure Google Checkout and eBay’s PayPal will figure, but [surely] only to invite more providers to the party.