Google has successfully been awarded a patent on location-based advertising they had filed six year ago, firmly planting their foot once more in a determined stride towards world domination. While all mobile platforms will likely be able to take advantage of the technology through Google’s mobile advertising initiative, odds are good that Android will be a focal point of Google’s efforts on this burgeoning market. It also means that if anyone wants to add GPS-based relevence to their mobile ads, it will likely have to be through Google.
The patent, application number 10/823,508, is described thusly.
The usefulness, and consequently the performance, of advertisements are improved by allowing businesses to better target their ads to a responsive audience. Location information is determined (or simply accepted) and used. For example, location information may be used in a relevancy determination of an ad. As another example, location information may be used in an attribute (e.g., position) arbitration. Such location information may be associated with price information, such as a maximum price bid. Such location information may be associated with ad performance information. Ad performance information may be tracked on the basis of location information. The content of an ad creative, and/or of a landing page may be selected and/or modified using location information. Finally, tools, such as user interfaces, may be provided to allow a business to enter and/or modify location information, such as location information used for targeting and location-dependent price information. The location information used to target and/or score ads may be, include, or define an area. The area may be defined by at least one geographic reference point (e.g., defined by latitude and longitude coordinates) and perhaps additional information. Thus, the area may be a circle defined by a geographic reference point and a radius, an ellipse defined by two geographic reference points and a distance sum, or a polygon defined by three or more geographic reference points, for example.
Google’s presence in the online advertising world is what would be best described as omniscient – they own AdSense, a matchmaking service us bloggers use to dedicate ad space to Google, who figures out what you’re looking for, and fills the space with contextually-significant ads. As far as mobile is concerned, Google picked up AdMob late last year, the pre-eminent king of mobile advertising, and regular publisher of useful stats (although that deal was so big that it raised some flags with the FTC regarding anti-trust laws).
Location-based advertising makes great sense for an end-user, since the more relevant the ads are, the less intrusive they feel. However, the business model is still in its infancy and unproven – it will take some maturing before Google can truly reap the fruits of this patent win.