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Hot on the heels of Google announcing is quarterly figures and pointing at mobile as the reason for the drop in average CPC costs, Google has launched Enhanced Adwords. Enhanced Adwords is an update in the Adwords platform to make it easy for advertisers to combine both traditional desktop advertising and advertising for mobile devices.

This makes perfect sense as Google was struggling to get advertisers to adopt mobile as a viable medium, even though almost half of search is now dominated by mobile. Google aims to make opting into mobile simple by creating an option to target mobile devices and customise your ads to suit mobiles. Previously we had to create completely separate campaign so we can tailor the campaigns for the mobile interface, incorporating click to call, mobile extensions and mobile specific adcopy.

I get it and I think its good for the average advertiser. If you are creating an Adwords campaign, why not target mobiles as well and Google can look after the integration and the fiddly stuff? Makes sense. But here is the catch. With enhanced campaigns advertisers are no longer able to create mobile specific campaigns (even though they can still create desktop only campaigns). If you relate it to the Google revenue article I linked to above, giving people this option is a no brainer, but not allowing mobile specific campaigns is an interesting move. Are mobile specific campaigns not profitable enough for Google so as to remove them completely as an option?

For our business, this isn’t good. We love mobile here and some of the results we have been able to achieve by customising campaigns for mobile have been tremendous. Obviously there will be some features that will allow us to adjust for mobile such as mobile specific bid adjusters and better mobile reporting features, I’m still not entirely impressed with being forced to have an combined campaign.. or no campaign at all.

My concern are the mobile based sites and apps which rely primarily on mobile traffic, what are they going to do with all the desktop traffic? I still need to play with enhanced search more to find the workaround but hopefully Google will start thinking about the agencies a bit more. There is nothing stopping them from keeping mobile only campaigns as an option for advertisers. I can’t see the agencies lying down and taking this easily and the backlash has already started. There is even a campaign running devoted to telling Google that we don’t like it!

Anyway, Google likes it and it may well be the answer they needed to address the gulf between desktop ppc and mobile ppc costs. Larry Page’s optimism was definitely justified when he stated:

We’re seeing tremendous innovation in advertising, which I believe will help us monetize mobile queries more effectively than desktop today… Google has enormous opportunities to innovate and drive ever-higher monetization, just like search in 2000

See below for Google Enhanced Adwords promotional video

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