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Google to start ads on Google Play, buys '.app' domain

28-February-2015
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Google to start ads on Google Play, buys '.app' domain

Google, today, announced that it will start with sponsored search results on Google Play in the next few weeks.

“App discovery plays a critical role in driving your continued success, and over the past year Google has provided best practices to enhance app discovery and engagement, as well as app promotion tools to get the most out of search and display advertising for developers. We are always looking for new ways to help you get your apps in front of potential new users. That’s why, in the next few weeks, we will begin piloting sponsored search results on Google Play, bringing our unique expertise in search ads to the store,” wrote Michael Siliski, Product Management Director at Google Play in a blog post.

Google said Google Play (its application store) now reaches more than 1 billion on Android devices in more than 190 countries. It also said that it has paid more than $7 billion to developers distributing apps and games on Google Play.

With Google Play seeing more than 100 billion searches every month on Google.com, search still forms the biggest revenue source for the internet giant (around 65 per cent, including mobile and desktop search, according to Forbes). In a March 2014 report, research firm eMarketer forecasted that the company’s search ad revenues from desktop will fall to 66.3 per cent in 2014 due to a $770 million decrease in desktop search ad revenues year over year. On the other hand, it estimated that the company’s mobile search revenues will increase $1.76 billion, totalling approximately one-third of Google’s total search revenues.

It is not exactly clear how sponsored search on Google Play will work as few details are available. In the blog post, Siliski said a limited set of users will begin to see ads from a pilot group of advertisers who are already running Google search ads for their apps. “We’ll have more to share in the coming months about the expansion of this program as we look at the results and feedback. We believe search ads will be a useful addition to Google Play for users and developers alike, and we hope this will bring even more success to our developer community,” he wrote.

TechCrunch reports, “the ads will run just in the latest version of the Play Store mobile app on Android smartphones, not on tablets or on the mobile or desktop web. And only a small number of consumers will actually see the new ads at first.”

In other news, Google has bought the ‘.app’ Top Listed Domain (TLD) for $25 million. ICANN, the global caretaker of domain names, had released a much larger collection of domain names back in 2008. Media reports suggest that this is the largest amount paid for a domain. The company has not yet announced its plans for .app, however, it is fair to assume that the rising percentage of search being carried out through mobile devices is behind the move.

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