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Even More Google Adwords Mobile Targeting Options


Last week, Google once again updated their Adwords device targeting options. From being able to target different carriers and operating systems, Google Adwords advertisers can now target specific versions of those operating systems.

For example, you may sell an app or service for Honeycomb smartphone users, the new targeting would allow you to select this specifically. The incentive is clearly apparent to attract these niche and potentially small businesses. Why is Google offering this targeting…what’s in it for them?

1. Building on their commitment to SMBs with Google Express and Places, these niche targets enable even smaller, single office run businesses to justify paid search that can be this granular.

2. Capitalising on the big business that is apps. Already pushing the click to download format, this new device targeting is crying out to app developers as a cost effective way to get their product out there.

3. Inflating mobile search numbers. Google really wants this to be the year of mobile (wasn’t that last year?). By gaining new advertisers in the growing area of selling apps, Google’s mobile search numbers and revenue will grow. In 6-9 months time, they will publicise graphs demonstrating the bite mobile search has taken out of desktop search. However the additional advertisers on mobile will have been incremental rather than switchers. This will increase Google’s Adwords users and their revenue.

It is strange….

1. That we don’t have this level of targeting detail on computers, e.g. browser or operating system (both tracked in Google Analytics)

2. That we see OS version targeting before we see handset or manufacturer targeting (available in Google Analytics)

In summary, I don’t know why Google decided to give us the ability to target operating system versions and I think this will effect a minute portion of existing Adwords advertisers but may attract a small portion of new advertisers.

N.B. Another application of this targeting could be targeting an old OS to persuade an upgrade to a newer phone.


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