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iPad, Google Making SEM Headlines

Posted on Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Featured, SEM

With all the buzz surrounding the Apple iPad over the past few weeks (especially this weekend), very little has been written about the impact on search engine marketing campaigns.  Would you like to run Google SEM ads on the iPad?  You can!  If you change your Google campaign settings to target “all mobile devices”, then your ads can appear on Google’s SERP on the iPad.

If you already have mobile campaigns running in Google AdWords, you may want to keep an eye on those campaigns to track a lift in impressions and clicks.  With an increasing number of iPad early adopters, you can attribute a significant lift in mobile traffic to iPad users.  This can be a big learning for your business especially if it results in more conversions and/or revenue.

Interesting to note that Google is classifying the iPad as a mobile device rather than a computer due to its mobile operating system, mobile browsing, and mobile applications.

At this time, you cannot specifically target the iPad as a device, but Google is working on that feature.  Some advertisers might wait until the targeting is fully built out on Google to dabble on the iPad.  If this is the case, there is no way to exclusively exclude the iPad from any campaigns that currently target all mobile devices.

If you do want to exclude the iPad from your campaigns before the targeting feature is added, you can try one or both of the following methods:

  1. Target only select devices.
  2. Target only select mobile carriers (excluding AT&T – iPad carrier).  This will not exclude iPad users accessing the internet through WiFi.

Warning: both of these methods will cut a significant amount of other non-iPad mobile traffic.

Regardless of whether you advertise through Google mobile campaigns or whether you believe the iPad will be successful, it is important to know how this market change can affect your business.

About Ranil Wiratunga

Ranil Wiratunga+ works in Search Marketing, at The Search Agency as Senior Director, Paid Media - Website: www.thesearchagency.com

Ranil Wiratunga manages a cross-functional team of search account management, project management, development, and performance-driven web strategy experts. He joined TSA’s SEM team in November 2006. He has account management experience in various verticals such as finance, CPG, travel, directory, entertainment, electronics, dating, etc. As an expert in SEM, he holds Google AdWords Professional and Yahoo! Advertising certification. Ranil graduated from Gonzaga University with a Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Philosophy.

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7 Responses to “iPad, Google Making SEM Headlines”

  1. This is quite interesting actually. This means that although the iPad falls somewhere in the computer category, it’s still being known as a mobile device right? This means that there will definitely be a surge in mobile device owners because of the iPad.

    Mobile advertising will soon be as competitive as the advertisements for computers

    • Ranil Wiratunga says:

      Online Clothing Store, thank you for your comment. Yes, Google is classifying the iPad as a mobile device, but if Apple continues to innovate on top of the current device, the lines will be blurred even more.

      Many analysts have pegged 2010 as a rapid growth year for mobile. In February 2010, companies like Barnes & Noble, Gap, and Sears mentioned that mobile is on the top of their roadmap for 2010. I can only see iPad strengthening these opinions. With that, I agree that mobile advertising will becoming increasingly competitive.

  2. Lindsay M. says:

    Hi Ranil,
    Great article! Have you seen a Google search ad on the iPad? If so, are there more spots for the ads to appear compared to computer searches or does the formatting appear to be the same? I am also interested to see if the search queries will be more similar to computer searches or mobile searches, in regards to search query length/long tail queries.
    Thank you!

  3. ronnie says:

    Love your blog I’m going to subscribe, especially because your topic is about google ipad

  4. fsbo says:


    I just wanted to say that I have been reading for a a couple of days and I would like to sign up for the updated feed.

  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on google ipad.


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