A Year Later: AdMob A Critical Mobile Asset For Google

There was really never a question that AdMob was going to be a huge asset and accelerator of Google’s mobile ad efforts. However the acquisition has more than cemented Google’s leadership position in mobile advertising.

According to some estimates (IDC, December 2010) Google controls 60 percent of US mobile advertising (search + display).  Of the total, search is estimated to be about 56 percent.

Prior to AdMob Google’s own mobile display efforts were comparatively weak.

A year after the acquisition key personnel from AdMob (e.g., CEO Omar Hamoui) have left but many remain, including Mark Schaaf, director of engineering for mobile display ads and Jason Spero, director of mobile sales. In honor of the one-year anniversary Google released some metrics and some new ad units/products for advertisers and publishers.

80,000 Sites in AdMob Network

Here are the verbatim growth metrics Google published:

  • Overall, AdMob traffic (Ad Requests) has grown more than 3.5X in the last year.
  • In April, AdMob saw over 2.7B ad requests a day globally, up from over 2B announced in January.
  • There are over 80K mobile websites and apps in the AdMob network, up from over 50K which we announced in January.
  • 11 countries in the AdMob network generated more than a billion monthly ad requests in April 2011, up from just three countries a year ago (when AdMob was acquired)

New Ad Units, Tools

Google is also announcing a number of new tablet ad formats. The company says it now can serve “full-screen interstitial ads built with HTML5.” It can do this on a cross-platform basis (smartphones or tablets). As the image immediately below and the video further down indicate, these ads can also include video. There are also ads that enable 360 product image rotation and higher levels of engagement (chiefly for tablets).

These are the types of rich media and interactive ad units that Apple CEO Steve Jobs complained were lacking when the company acquired Quattro Wireless and created iAd.

On the platform/tools side, Google is also announcing closer integration of mobile within DoubleClick:

  • DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) Small Business adds support for mobile
  • Mobile is now part of the core functionality of product
  • DFP is integrated with the AdMob network
  • Dart for Advertisers 3rd party ad serving now available on the AdMob network, with support for rich media formats

Run Ads from Other Networks via AdMob

Google is also announcing “Ad Network Mediation on the AdMob Platfom.” This based on an upgraded version of the AdWhirl mediation platform that AdMob acquired before it was itself acquired by Google. What this means as a practical matter is that publishers/developers can run ads from any network, including iAd, Millennial, Jumptap, and so on, using AdMob’s mediation tools.

Currently ad networks need to be arrayed manually in the system (e.g., 1 AdMob, 2 iAd, etc) and aren’t dynamically ordered based on performance. The benefit is self-evident in that it allows nearly 100 percent fill for developers. Other mediators (sometimes called exchanges) in the market, which offer similar capabilities, include Smaato, AdMarvel (Opera), Nexage and xAd.

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Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Google: Acquisitions | Google: Mobile

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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