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INFOGRAPHIC: How Does Google Make Money From Mobile?

Did you know that mobile devices will soon become the primary way people access Google’s services?

The mobile search market is experiencing explosive growth having increased by over 200% in 2012! Google has managed to transform all its products into a unified “mobile-first” platform. Even YouTube has undergone transformation—Google recently unveiled the YouTube One Channel layout so that channels appear consistent across different mobile devices. At the same time, Google is making a push to  streamline all its products to be optimized for the rapidly growing mobile market.

Currently, Google earns most of its $8 billion mobile revenue from advertising (excluding Motorola). This is why it makes sense for Google to have restructured its main pay-per-click advertising platform, Adwords, for mobile experiences. Because Google wants more businesses to advertise for mobile and responsive designs, the company introduced enhanced campaign features like mobile conversion types, extensions and mobile ad types, all created for mobile-centric user displays.

New research by WordStream reveals some insight into Google’s mobile strategy which is centered around 4 key mobile product areas:

Mobile Adverting

Google’s main advertising products for mobile search include:

  • Google AdWords – Millions worldwide already use Adwords, Google’s huge online ad-serving platform which offers lots of powerful mobile targeting options and ROI reporting tools for mobile advertisers.
  • Location and Call Extensions – These extension features allow AdWords users to attach business addresses, phone numbers and maps to advertisements. These make the ads appear larger in searches, leading to more conversions, and give users key location data to see how close a nearby business is.
  • Google Offers – Google’s answer to Groupon, Living Social and Amazon local deals, Google Offers are mobile discounts, redeemable online or at brick-and-mortar stores, for brands to help build awareness.
  • Google AdMob – This mobile advertising platform specifically designed for mobile apps enables developers to offer games and such for free (and earn money via advertising).

Google Apps for Mobile

Google’s catalog of mobile app products include:

  • Google Maps – The de facto standard for mobile map/GPS apps. Google knows that location is key to providing a great user search experience. (1 in 4 Google searches are related to location.)
  • Google Now – A system of Siri-like voice commands and card functions that let users customize the updates they want for a more intelligent smartphone.
  • Google+ Local – Mobile users can search for nearby restaurants and entertainment rated by Zagat.
  • Google Play Books – Competing with Kindle, Google Play Books lets you read ebooks on any mobile device.
  • Google Wallet – Google envisions a day when no transaction will involve cash or cards. Google Wallet, a popular method for online payments via Google’s secure cloud servers, is a step in that direction.
  • Google Voice – This allows you to make cheap international calls, send free text messages, read voicemail transcripts on the web and more.
  • Google Search App – Google makes search easy to navigate on all your mobile devices.
  • Google Shopper – Helps mobile users find products to buy and with purchasing decisions.
  • Google Goggles  –  This image recognition app allows users to snap a photo of an object and then find out more information about it. Though, like the Google Project Glass, Goggles is still in the early stages, it’s an exciting technology for visual search!

Mobile Content

  • Youtube – The world’s most popular video sharing site. Nothing else comes close! 40% of video views on YouTube now come from mobile devices, adding up to a billion views a day.
  • Google Play – An app store for purchasing mobile apps, ebooks and music, Play is Google’s answer to Apple’s iTunes.

Mobile Devices

  • Android – Google’s Linux-based, open source operating system for mobile devices is currently the world’s most widely used smartphone platform powering 42% of mobile consumer devices.
  • Motorola – Google would eventually like to combine Android’s OS with Motorola’s great hardware for devices.
  • Chrome for Mobile – Google’s Chrome browser for mobile makes the web easier to navigate from mobile devices and provides synchronization with web browsers.
  • Google Glass – Google’s much anticipated augmented reality glasses are still in the works, but early models are straight out of science fiction and not without some comic parody!

Mobile is the Future

This infographic sheds some light on Google’s exciting mobile products and, with many still in development,  more are to come. It shows Google’s top 20 mobile products and assigns grades for each based on quality, adoption, originality, value to advertisers and other criteria. Find out what each product does and how it affects Google’s bottom line!

Google is already making big bucks in the mobile space, and this graphic makes it clear that Google has positioned itself to be a major player in the mobile revolution of the future. The growth of mobile has just started to spike. You can expect Google to rake in tens of billions in mobile ad revenue in the years to come.

Is your website optimized for smartphones and tablets? It better be, or your site could get left behind in the mobile era…

Wyn Nathan Davis
Great article - very informative!
Daniel Zeevi
Thank you Wyn!
Sunish Sebastian
I hope Google keeps the promise and leave the project glass adwords free. Yea... it is pretty scarey.
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