Google is making changes to AdWords, the core product that fuels its search business, that could help it make mobile clicks into a bigger cash cow.
An unassuming name, "enhanced campaigns," actually a big change in the way search advertisers set up their campaigns. Instead of needing to create distinct campaigns to target users according to the device they use, advertisers can now do this within a single campaign using bid adjustments. That means it will be easier for advertisers to spread their bids to mobile, which is crucial as users drop their PCs in favor of tablets and mobile phones.Advertisers will also be able to bid on keywords based on the time of day and location the search is coming from. For example: a breakfast restaurant could bid 20% less on people searching for "coffee" or "breakfast" after 11 a.m., and 25% more for someone in a half-mile radius. It could also bid more for people searching on a smartphone, since those users are more likely to be in the neighborhood looking for a place to eat right away.
Google's VP-product management Nick Fox says that the intent of the change is to give marketers more dexterity and better measurement with their campaigns, but also to unlock the value of mobile inventory.
Mr. Fox maintains that advertisers have been asking for a way to simplify their AdWords presence, noting that the largest marketers may have hundreds of thousands of individual campaigns set up, "pivoted around every dimension."
"We think there's a huge amount of value to mobile that's not being fully realized today, so that's why we're doing this," he said.