Google brings AdMob under its umbrella

Google buys AdMob (Scott Beale, Laughing Squid, via Flickr)Huge news in mobile today: Google just announced an acquisition of AdMob, the ad network which was the first to serve in-app ads on the iPhone. This deal makes a lot of sense, and is going to impact long standing changes to mobile advertising. It also affirms Google’s position in mobile as a dominant force. Here are four reasons why:

King of the hill: Google was getting into in-app ads, but there was already a powerhouse in that space – AdMob. Rather than competing for market share, this acquisition will position Google as the leading provider of in-app ads. Considering the Lab’s position that “the mobile app is the new webpage,” the overall share of impressions will continue to trend toward applications (though AdMob also has a considerable presence in the WAP world as well).

Analytics: One of AdMob’s strengths is that with its proliferation into many applications, they have great data. Google also loves data, and this install base will presumably allow for rollouts of products like “Google Analytics for Apps.”

Single Dashboard: One of Google’s big promises is the single dashboard for buying digital media. While they have rolled out some mobile presence in that dashboard, once AdMob’s network is rolled into the fold as a checkbox, it’s going to make things quite a bit easier at most of the agencies.

Location Relevance: Google does location very well. AdMob’s one “weakness” is a lack of hyper-location targeting. Google’s problem with hyper-location targeting has been one of scale – only a handful of apps were being powered by its in-app solution. With several billion ad requests a month, AdMob will add the scale to allow Google to roll out a location targeting mobile ad solution. It’s highly likely that this will be one of the first major things to come of this acquisition.

All in all, this is a very exciting move by Google. Just last week I was commenting to a Google sales rep that it’s been interesting to watch Google in mobile, as their slow transition into the space left room for upstart companies to dominate the market (AdMob). Kudos to that rep for keeping a straight face. Some exciting changes are on the horizon for mobile.

UPDATE: A report on TechCrunch indicates another interesting Google Acquisition.  The article suggests they’ve picked up VoIP company Gizmo5, which is likely going to support some new offerings with Google Voice.  Currently, Gizmo5 is the only company offering a free dial-in number for VoIP calls.  This functionality could allow Google to use Google Voice for VoIP (currently it requires a normal phone line to be used).  Both of these acquisitions set the stage for some powerful innovation in mobile over at Google.