Are Personalized Mobile Ads Evil?

As the mobile browsing experience forces people to search on smaller screens, where will Google place all of its revenue-generating text ads? Ben Kunz in BusinessWeek writes that the rise in mobile browsing on small screens equates to less ad space for Google.

I doubt very much it will mean the end of Google’s revenue stream, however. Mobile ads are both scarce and effective and as such, will only prompt Google to attach to them a luxury model. Though such luxury will have to mean more personalization — in other words, as Kunz suggests, more intense profiling and more personalized ads. Given its forays into storing medical data and its ability to search your desktop, I don’t think Google can afford to get too personal with its advertising without risking considerable backlash. But it continues to walk the line between utility and privacy without damaging either its brand or its ability to make money, so maybe Google will find a way.


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