Google to bring search ads to Google Play store

Google is to bring paid search to Google Play store, which will allow marketers to pay for their apps to be featured in top spots for key search terms.

The company announced in a blog post today (26 Feb) that it will begin piloting sponsored search results on Google Play over the next few weeks.

Paid search will allow advertisers to bid on certain search terms such as “coupon app” or “travel app”, much like they do on Google’s web search.

Initially, a limited amount of users will see the ads from a pilot group of advertisers who are already running Google search ads for their apps. This is something the company says that they are looking to expand.

Google says: “We are always looking for new ways to help you get your apps in front of potential new users. That’s why we will begin sponsored search results on Google Play, bringing our unique expertise in search ads to the store.”

Paid search on Google Play will be introduced as a wider initiative, as Google looks to enhance app discovery and engagement on its platform.

David McDiarmid, pay-per-click team leader for DigitasLBI says: “The news of Google pushing its paid offering into the app store comes as no surprise. With the majority of mobile activity occurring in apps it’s crucial for Google to monetise in and around this space.”

Google’s revenue is largely made up of ad revenue from its own sites such as its search engine and YouTube, which largely depend on web search.

With advertisers increasingly moving budgets to mobile devices, the cost-per-click – or the amount Google can charge advertisers for placing ads on its network, decreased by 3% over the quarter, indicating that Google is having trouble raising the price it charges for its ads.

Head of SEO for TMW Unlimited, Artur Jach says: “They have found another way of increasing the sheer volume of ad clicks which is critical for them right now. It will fill in the gap in paid search revenue left by the ever declining desktop searches.”

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