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Google Updates Advertising Service to Boost Mobile Campaigns

Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc., operator of the world’s most popular search engine, is upgrading its online advertising service to make it easier for marketers to reach users on different devices.

The revamped AdWords service will also help companies manage bids for ads running at different locations and times, according to a blog post today. Using an auction system, Google sells advertising keywords that are displayed alongside search results.

Google is aiming to boost mobile advertising as users increasingly rely on smartphones and tablets for their computing and communication needs. Google’s mobile revenue from search-based advertising more than tripled in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to analysts at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. Over the past year, Facebook Inc. has built up mobile advertising, which makes up 23 percent of its total ad revenue.

“This is a first step to help you more simply and smartly manage your ad campaigns in today’s multidevice world,” Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president of engineering, wrote in the blog post.

The overhaul will also let companies track the performance of their advertising campaigns, with tools that measure what happens after users see ads.

Average Prices

While there may be new tools for marketers, some of the changes also mean Google’s average ad price will rise, according to Bill Mungovan, a director of product marketing and strategy for media and advertising solutions at Adobe Systems Inc. Mungovan said advertisers will no longer be able to separately purchase tablet spots, which cost less than those for desktops -- a change that will boost average prices.

“This, presumably, will address Google’s mobile monetization gap as an increasing share of searches is coming from tablets and smartphones,” Mungovan wrote today in a blog post.

Last month, Google said the average price of its ads dropped 6 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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