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mocoNews.net - Google Dumps AdWords Business Pages For Mobile

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Dianne See Morrison
mocoNews.net
Wednesday, February 25, 2009; 10:00 AM

Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is shuttering its AdWords Business Pages for mobile, citing "low usage" of the service that allows businesses to create a simple web page where people could learn more about their products and services. Should the shutdown of the service launched just 14 months ago be taken as a bad omen for the mobile search ad industry? Not necessarily. Google never pushed the service that hard, or by some accounts, at all. The shutdown, itself, is more of a fade out, coming to light as it did only when some users got a notice from Google that they intended to "retire" it by March 23. Moreover, according to Farhad Divecha, the director of mobile search specialist agency Accuracast , one of the big problems with that the audience the service was aimed at?usually much smaller businesses that typically managed AdWords themselves?were unaware that the service even existed, or were happy to have their ads click through to a number that consumers could reach them on. Bigger advertisers, on the other hand, would have a better mobile page built for them.

Divecha sees the closure of the service as just part of Google's recent "realignment" of all of its "non-core" businesses, or as he added, "When you think of Google, you think of search, not web pages." In the past weeks, Google has also shuttered its radio advertising business and its print ads offering. But while this looks like the case of a service that got released without much support, it's also true that the mobile search ad business is still not thriving. Divecha says, "The [audience] volumes are just not there. It's nowhere near the volumes of desktop search. It's doing better than it has, but it's still not doing that well."

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