Google for Mobile: How Google Makes Money from Mobile

Google for Mobile: How Google Makes Money from Mobile

March 6, 2013
Larry Kim

google's mobile products

The mobile search market is experiencing out-of-control growth. Mobile searches have increased 200% year over year in 2012, and it’s predicted that within the next year, mobile will become the primary way people access Google’s services. But despite early reports, Google isn’t doomed from a sudden shift to mobile.

Far from it – the opposite in fact! Google has managed to transform itself into a “mobile first” company. Currently, the majority of Google’s $8B run-rate mobile revenue derives from advertising (excluding Motorola). That’s why the company is totally restructuring the way its pay-per-click advertising platform, AdWords, works – Google wants more businesses advertising on mobile, so it’s making mobile PPC radically simpler with the introduction of enhanced campaigns, as well as new mobile conversion types, offer extensions and a mobile app ad type, all specifically created to address mobile-centric use cases.

New research conducted by WordStream into Google’s mobile product portfolio reveals that Google’s mobile strategy centers around investments in four key mobile product areas: Mobile Devices, Mobile Apps, Mobile Content and Mobile Advertising.

We believe that with such an exciting mobile product portfolio, advertising formats have just scratched the surface of the mobile monetization opportunity.

We've already showed you how Google makes money from search ads. In the below graphic, we outline Google’s top 20 mobile products, including a report card that grades each product based on quality, adoption, originality, value to advertisers and other criteria. Scroll through to learn what each of these products does – and how they add to Google’s bottom line! (Click on the image to enlarge to full size.)

Google for Mobile Infographic

Below is a quick summary of Google’s four areas of focus and the mobile products in each category.

Mobile Advertising: Google Ads for Mobile

Google mobile advertising in on the rise - Google’s key advertising products for mobile search include:

  • Google AdWords – AdWords, Google’s online ad serving platform used by millions worldwide, offers powerful mobile targeting options and ROI reporting tools for mobile advertisers.
  • Location and Call Extensions – These ad extensions help mobile advertisers reach local searchers and make it easy for them to convert. Everybody wins!
  • Google Offers – Google’s answer to Groupon, Living Social et al, Google Offers are mobile discounts that can be redeemed online or at brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Google AdMob – A mobile advertising platform specifically designed for mobile apps. Marketers can advertise their apps inside other existing apps.

Killer Mobile Apps: Google Apps for Mobile

Google’s portfolio of mobile app products include:

  • Google Maps – The gold standard for mobile map/GPS apps. Google understands that location is key to providing a great search experience (1 in 4 Google searches are related to location).
  • Google Now – A system of Siri-like voice commands and a card system that lets users customize the updates they want, when they want them. Google Now is the dream of the perfect smartphone!
  • Google+ Local – Mobile users can search for nearby restaurants and entertainment rated by Zagat with Google+ Local app.
  • Google Play Books – Google’s version of Kindle, Google Play Books lets you read ebooks on a mobile device.
  • Google Wallet – A method for online payments via Google’s secure cloud servers. Google Wallet isn’t supported everywhere, but it’s a step toward cashless and cardless transactions.
  • Google Voice – Make cheap international calls, send free text messages, read voicemail transcripts and more with Google Voice.
  • Google Search App – Makes Google search easy to navigate on your mobile device.
  • Google Shopper – The Google Shopper app helps mobile users find products to buy and make purchasing decisions.
  • Google Goggles  - A mobile image recognition app that allows users to take a photo of an object to find more information about it. In its early stages, but exciting technology for visual search.

Mobile Content: Google Content for Mobile

  • Youtube – The world’s best video sharing website. Nothing else comes close! A full 40% of video views on YouTube now come from mobile devices, adding up to a billion views a day. Of these daily billion views, Google also serves ads in the form of YouTube advertisements.
  • Google Play – An app store for purchasing mobile apps, ebooks and music, this is Google’s answer to iTunes.

Mobile Devices: Google Devices for Mobile

Grade Your Mobile PPC

The Future of Mobile

This infographic doesn’t even cover all the mobile products that Google has in development – just the most exciting and (so far) most profitable of its forays into the mobile space. Clearly, Google is positioned to be one of just a few major players in mobile as the revolution continues. As far as mobile advertising goes, Google has barely scratched the surface of what’s possible. You can expect them to make huge advances in the realm of mobile advertising – and billions and billions in mobile ad revenues in the coming years.

Tweetables: Google Mobile Products


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Mar 06, 2013

Larry, this is an awesome infographic. I shared it with our network. Thank you for the time and resources you put in to bring this bad boy to life! - Ruck

Larry Kim
Mar 08, 2013

Glad you  liked it Ruck!

Mar 07, 2013

Is it possible to provide Benchmark ROI for each venue?

Larry Kim
Mar 08, 2013

great idea for a follow up story! thanks

Google Expert
Mar 07, 2013

Thank you Larry for this great insight in to Google. I haven't come across information as useful as this in years.Anyone who wants to master Google must actually study this information you made available in this compact form.I totally agree with the importance of mobile websites which actually helps from search engine ranking point of view, and as you suggested, mobile search will only get bigger, thus explode in 2013 and beyond. We'll share this with our visitors and will come back for more great information.

Larry Kim
Mar 08, 2013

Thanks, google expert!

Mar 08, 2013

Great information, thank you - brings it all together really well.As I went down the list, I'm thinking "yep, using that, and that, and that..."; the only ones I'm not using are the ones they only picked up Cs on!  

Larry Kim
Mar 08, 2013

looks like our research was correct then! lol

Mar 08, 2013

Thank you for nice postUnfortunately mobile search works very well for services but it doesn't work for sales.I have mobile friendly websitebut I have to disable mobile traffic because people buy ONLY from tablets and desktops.People have to understand that mobile traffic can be useless for them.Thank you at onceOlga 

Mar 09, 2013

Woooooooow!!!! I can't help it. thanks for this great infographics.... I never new about most of these Google products. Especially, Google Glass. I'm also going to try admobs. thanks a lot for this info.

Agua - SEO Calgary
Mar 11, 2013

Awesome infograph. You bring all it together. Thanks for sharing. Its being very informative.

Raleigh Internet Marketing
Mar 11, 2013

Great infographic! You put everything together so nicely. Looking forward to seeing how well Google Glasses does!

Hemanth Malli
Mar 12, 2013

Very Interesting and well written.. I enjoyed reading it. The infographic thought was very impressive.. its just awesome !!

Mar 12, 2013

Sorry guys. This is NOT an infographic. It's a long poster.I'm not saying the information contained isn't useful or insightful, but no - it's not an infographic by any means.

Elisa Gabbert
Mar 12, 2013

We think it meets the definition of "graphic or visual representations of information," as all posters do, but fair enough!

Mar 18, 2013

Not sure who made Dean the graphics expert but this is most definitely an info graphic no matter what the trolls say

Annie Craven
Nov 25, 2013

Thanks for sharing, lots of really great information! I really like your graphic for the the grade system, very eye catching.

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