Published in Mobiles

Google kills ad-block apps, expands its own ad service

by on14 March 2013

Terms of service or strategic shift?

Andy Rubin is gone, and Google Reader is about to die a slow death. However, that might not be the biggest news coming out of Google this week. 

Earlier this week Google expanded its product listing ads to mobile. This basically means that a Google search on your smartphones will result in a small block of product listings displayed on top of organic search results. It seems like a logical extension of Google’s ad programmes, but there’s more.

Google also pulled a number of ad-blocking apps from the Play Store last night. Google claims the apps were killed because they violated its terms and services, which is true, but the terms quoted by Google are relatively broad and open to interpretation, so it seems like they were merely used as an excuse.

The reasons for Google’s latest mobile ad moves can probably be found elsewhere. Mobile ad revenues are incredibly low and low revenues hurts publishers, independent developers and in the end Google and its entire ecosystem. Getting developers to come up with innovative, high quality apps and earn peanuts on ads isn’t the way to move forward. The same goes for content creators.

With that in mind, it is hardly surprising that Google chose to kill ad-block apps. We get free apps and free content courtesy of mobile advertising, which is already too cheap and it doesn’t generate enough cash to keep developers interested.
Of course, tech savvier users will be able to download and install ad blockers on their devices in spite of the ban. They just won’t be able to do it via Google's Play Store.

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