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Google: The Mobile Web Could Be Better Than the PC Web

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Google (s GOOG) did well in the fourth quarter, giving the company runway to talk about its next wave of initiatives. Specifically, executives that said alongside the larger category of display advertising, mobile will be the No. 1 growth area in the next year, with significant revenue to accompany the widespread uptake of mobile devices that can handle data.

With phone features like GPS and cameras, and the incorporation of personalization, social and local features, Google SVP of product management, Jonathan Rosenberg, said on today’s earning call for press and analysts, “There is potential to make this mobile web better than the PC web.” Rosenberg said advertisers are also wising up to mobile, finding that including their phone number or address will increase click-through rates. Further, targeting tools and analytics are improving monetization rates. However the company declined to break out mobile revenue.

On the device side, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said he felt the Android strategy has shown to be “a pretty clear success at this point.” He also sought to clarify Google’s approach on its own device, the Nexus One: “What the Nexus One is really about is a new way of buying a phone. We think that’s a natural evolution of a particular model. It does not exclude other models.”

The other interesting takeaway was a Schmidt comment with regard to Google’s stance on China. “We would like to stay in China, and we remain quite committed to being there,” he said, emphasizing that as company talks with the Chinese government about recent security breaches it continues to censor search results and operate its China business unchanged.

Related research: Google’s Mobile Strategy (GigaOM Pro subscription required)

15 Responses to “Google: The Mobile Web Could Be Better Than the PC Web”

  1. The big shift to mobi relevant content and domain names is about to hit google, the fact they bought the top mobi ad supplier shows they are moving in that direction. We got behind .mobi when we notice 2 years ago most of our new executive clients all came from iphones. The smartphone revolution is very real. If you want something now, busy execs and professionals never go to a laptop to look, they’re too busy being executives and professionals. I rarely go to my laptop now too, email, texts, skype, face to face, it’s all iphone for me now. Other professionals and exec’s all use their smart phones now way more than traditional serp’s. Who is on old technology looking for stuff? Average workers not the bosses. LOL So the money is targeting iphone and blackberry users now for high end advertising.

  2. I don’t see mobile web overtaking PC web anytime soon for most users. Mobile web is still an exercise in futility for me compared to just working on my laptop but it’s great for checking email, sports scores etc. I’m sure as devices, operating systems and content improve that will slowly change.

  3. 80% of the general population is not interested in ads on their mobile phones. who pays the inbound data charges? wonder why cable companies offer TV channels without ads?

  4. If an ad is a very important feature of a web site or mobile apps, the one which makes money. Are Google ads bloat or well designed to integrate and add to the user experience.

    Point is, the integration of ads into a product (web page, mobile app) as a feature hasn’t even started. I don’t think Google will lead the way.

    Question are:
    What are the barriers preventing it? Except ad agencies/networks without a clue.
    Why did Apple buy an ad network?

  5. now what could possibly make mobile better than PC?
    1. Keyphrase tabbed location as opposed to keyword typed search?
    2. removal of adsense from results? the structure is not compatible with mobile screen.
    3. removal of 10’s of pages and millions of results nobody ever cared about?
    -these 3 are core features of google. Typed keywords and phone numbers will evaporate on next generation mobile content discovery and retrieval. inevitable innovation and efficiency will “change the face” of digital discovery for mobile and online.