During the company’s Q3 earnings call recently, Google said it’s on track to bank over $2.5B from mobile advertising in 2011, which is more than double than the $1B the company recorded in 2010.
While $2.5B seems relatively low compared to the $30B+ in total revenue the search giant is on track to post this year, but the growth rate is what’s impressive. Most of Google’s revenue comes from desktop search, and the company has been banking on translating that success to the mobile channel. The problem, however, is that mobile search — and thereby mobile ads — are vastly different than desktop search.
When people search using their mobile devices, they’re most likely looking for something specific and then cease searching once they find what they’re looking for. By contrast, people searching via desktop are much more likely to make other, more exploratory searches. The experience is just too different between the two. This doesn’t mean that Google won’t be extraordinary successful at mobile ads, it just means their ad-units and placements will have be that much more engaging and unique.