Google hopes AdWords + AdMob can solve the mobile monetization gap

As Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker highlighted recently, there’s a major mobile monetization gap, with eCPMs five times lower on mobile than on the desktop Internet. But Google (s goog) may be poised to help bridge that gap with the biggest integration of its AdMob acquisition to date. The more than 1 million AdWords advertisers will now be able to extend their campaigns to AdMob’s network of more 300,000 mobile apps, which could potentially provide much more demand for mobile ad inventory.

From their AdWords dashboard, advertisers can now choose to have their display ads appear in mobile apps. They can also now target specific device models, manufacturers or app categories in the Google Play and Apple App Store (s aapl). The AdWords campaigns on AdMob will only cover cost-per-click campaigns for now but will incorporate CPM campaigns later.

There’s no guarantee that this will solve the mobile monetization problem, but it should make it much easier for certain advertisers to give mobile a try, providing them access to more than 350 million mobile devices in AdMob’s network. And for AdWords advertisers who stick with mobile, they can manage all of their campaigns from one interface. This is big news for mobile developers and publishers, many of whom are still struggling to make big money from mobile.

Many advertisers have been slow to embrace mobile, out of ignorance or inertia, while some are still aren’t convinced of mobile’s efficacy or haven’t set aside a budget for mobile ad spending. And with the explosion in mobile, there’s been a lot more supply of mobile ad inventory than demand.

But advertisers are realizing that users are spending more and more time on mobile devices, which are even more personal than computers and can provide more context for targeting such as location. Consumers spend about 10 percent of their time with mobile devices, but only 1 percent of U.S. ad spend currently goes to mobile, Meeker said. That suggests there’s a big upside to mobile advertising once advertisers start catching up to where their audiences are.

The news comes shortly after the two-year anniversary of Google’s formal $750 million acquisition of AdMob and shows how it is incorporating the mobile ad network into its existing businesses. Google in the past year has brought AdMob’s mobile app inventory to the Doubleclick Ad Exchange and also shifted AdMob’s CPC campaigns to an AdWords-style auction. Advertisers can now also serve ads from Doubleclick for Advertisers into AdMob’s network. The latest step has been a long time in the making but it shows why Google was interested in paying so much for AdMob. It now has a better way to take its success in online advertising and convert that into more mobile ad revenue.