As Canadians spend more of their online time on smartphones and tablets, the company wants to be “appropriate”.
Google Canada expects that consumers across that country will continue to grow their obsession with smartphones and tablets throughout 2015, and in response to this, they are hoping to be able to improve the appropriateness of their mobile ads.
The company feels that it has learned a great deal about the channel over the last few years and is ready for the next step.
According to the Google Canada managing director, Sam Sebastian, “Users, and then in turn Google and our business, pivoted to mobile and mobile-first (strategies) in a big way.” He added that the company pivoted its own business on several occasions over the last few years, but in 2014, its “pivot to mobile was extremely important.” This was critical, as the mobile ads from the company are a part of the very core of its business.
Mobile ads are a growing component to the overall advertising business, which is central to Google.
This remains true, despite the fact that most consumers typically connect Google with being a search engine, with its YouTube video streaming, and with its Android mobile operating system. However, when it comes to its income, it is the advertising business that makes up its heart. In 2013, it had brought in nearly $58 billion U.S. in advertising revenue. As of the writing of this article, the figures for 2014 had not yet been released.
That said, it is not uncommon for consumers to feel uncomfortable when they see the results of online behavioral advertising, in which ads are generated based on browsing history or a previous search. Google has recognized that certain components of mobile advertising could generate that same sense of “reepy” activity that could be off-putting. These could include display ads based on the location of a consumer, by way of geolocation technology.
The engineering director of Google Canada, Steven Woods, explained that the company is looking to ensure that its mobile ads remain appropriate, saying that “The idea of what’s creepy and what’s appropriate is a constantly evolving thing,” and that the company needs to stay ahead of that so that they can discover the proper ways to “delight the users and protect their information.”