Everyone knows the future will be spent looking down at our mobile devices. Eventually, we will have to develop a second set of eyes at the top of our heads or face an evolutionary thinning of the herd. Leave it to Google to force advertisers to go mobile.
What no one yet knows is whether anyone can make any money off our national addiction to phones and tablets. Many have tried; few have succeeded. Google might have as much at stake in figuring out how to monetize advertising as any mega-corporation on this planet, since we’re all Googling on our smart phones for sushi spots and trying read what bitcoins are all about instead of speaking to people anyway. But even Google hasn’t quite been able to sway advertisers to tablets and mobile devices, at least in the numbers it wants.
Well, the 800-pound gorilla is through playing nice. In July, Google changed its AdWords advertising policy to make advertising across all devices (laptop, mobile and tablet) the required norm. Advertisers knew something was up when Google began tinkering with its AdWords policy as far back as February, but the other shoe has dropped and now Google’s full plans are revealed. From now on, if you want to play with Google, you’ve got to make your ads accessible to the smart phone; no more buffet line ad campaigns, picking and choosing and customizing.
The move will produce some winners and losers, depending on how a company’s ad campaign has been tailored to this point. Meanwhile, Google’s nominal rival, Bing, has piped up and said it won’t follow Google’s policy. With Bing, advertisers won’t be forced to do anything they don’t want to do.
Sounds like a showdown to me.