When Google bought mobile ad network AdMob for $750 million in 2009, the company was clearly trying to capitalize on the growing mobile advertising market. Mobile advertising, both on apps and the mobile web, is a natural extension of Google’s display and search ad business. Of course, as the integration has taken place over the last year, certain AdMob features have been axed because they didn’t fit with the overall strategy or for redundancy. For example, Google ended AdMob’s cross-promotion download exchange a few months ago. And now Google is announcing that it will soon end AdMob’s mobile web serving capabilities.
As Google aptly titled its blog post announcing the change; AdMob is for mobile app developers. AdSense is for mobile web publishers. Even after over a year of integration, Google is still sorting out the overlap and has determined that mobile web publishers should head to AdSense to monetize their sites, and mobile app publishers should use AdMob.
And for mobile apps advertising, all AdSense for Mobile Applications beta participants have been switched to AdMob, which Google says is now the primary ad solution for mobile app developers.
Google says that AdMob support for older WAP mobile web sites will stop on September 30. For sites and ads that can be viewed on more advanced mobile devices like smartphones, the AdMob product will be around for a little longer but will also be phased out eventually.
It makes sense that there would be some crossover between AdMob and AdSense’s mobile offerings, and that certain programs and features in both platforms will be cut and further integrations will be made. For example, Google announced last fall that iPhone and Android application developers in the AdMob network will be able to show Google AdSense ads when an AdMob ad is not available.
And despite some earlier reports that the AdMob integration hasn’t been going so well, the mobile ad network’s metrics are still growing like gangbusters. It’s unclear how much hardship this move will cause developers (Google makes it sounds like a natural progression and integration), but it definitely doesn’t make sense for there to be competing ad serving technologies within the same organization.