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Google SMS, currently in beta on Google Labs at [sms.google.com,...] extends the reach of Google's search services to mobile phones and devices, while staying true to Google's mission to bring more of the world's information directly to users. Google SMS currently works with wireless providers in the U.S. only, including AT&T Wireless, Cingular, Nextel, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint PCS.
Google SMS (Short Message Service) enables you to easily get precise answers to specialized queries from your mobile phone or device. Send your query as a text message and get phone book listings, dictionary definitions, product prices and more. Just text. No links. No web pages. Simply the answers you're looking to find.
I think you'll see a real explosion of commercial potential once Enhanced 911 is implemented by all carriers (h--p://www.fcc.gov/911/enhanced/). What this feature allows is a precise targeting of the cell phone location within 50m to 100m. So, if I type pizza I will get a list of pizzerias starting with the closest to my location.
There is also the potential for active marketing where if you pass by certain businesses, you will be notified of promotions, special sales, etc. You'd probably get a free mobile phone usage in exchange for the advertisements...
Premium SMS is a djungle. Here where I'm at there are lots of services that you pay for via premium SMS, but you can never be sure that it will work between all phone operators. And the process of going international on such a payment method looks like a nightmare.
In Europe you need to make deals with at least one operator per country since the standards vary and the shortcut numbers won't be available everywhere...
But if you have a service, or even sell stuff for say below 20$, it's a sweet way to get fast payments. The customer sends their SMS, you send the reply with a code, the customer uses the code to logg in to the goods. I'm sure the industrious WW crowd will find lots of used for it.
A place for advertisers- no.
SMS is about *answers*. And in a mobile device, more than a pc, because of its limited diplay environment, answer display *must* superceed ad display.
FindWhat's call per click- no. Because if you are the *answer* (.8 miles away), it is not something you pay for.
This is a feature. This is a service. This is a leading company leveraging data in unique display environments. This is *not* the next boon in local advertising.
If a business does not pay, does one think that Google would not still want to give the user the best *answer*?
They just need to extend it to the UK.
and would be absolute rubbish in France ..where its accurate to the town only ..
and how would you SEO to be the "chosen" result?
as in ..
Which is the cheapest car hire company within 500 meters of LAX? for example?
Sure there is - a massive place for advertisers.
Tom Cruise walks into a mall and every "sign" knows him and calls him by name. In the movie, it happens because of Bio sensors are aware of his identifying characteristics -- who knows, maybe the signs can scan his DNA from a distance.
We can't do that today, but we can determine where you are at on most of the planet by that tell tale signal your little mobile phone pumps out.
There is little doubt, the capabilities of these phones with regard to geolocation is going to keep increasing dramatically. Who knows, the next round of cell phones may have gps built right in.
When that hits, those in the forefront of SMS services with a advertising system as a kicker, will rule the space.
This is a very forward looking action by Google. They are big enough now, that they don't get to pick and choose about these things, they have to be there.
You speak of GPS for example - knowing via the phone where a user is located. In this case, with accurate data (which is not a sure bet), you are able to tell a user where the nearest atm is, or gas station, or pizza place. In order to provide that result (answer) the service MUST utilize accurate business data, not advertisements. If you do serve ads in this environment, you need to be an information architecture master, given a limited display environment, and your ads must be clearly marked.
Yet, in order for such services to be adopted by consumers you must give the consumers the best answers. And then, it is only with mass adoption will there be a viable outlet for ad sales. Even then, local marketplaces are dominated by small businesses. The average small business spends 6K annually on advertising, which is equal to $500/month. These small businesses do not expirement often and they are not swayed by cool ideas. The only way we will see participation of local small business ad dollars in this environment, is thru distribution of pre-existing ad channels. Much the same way you can have your adwords show contextually off serp, it can also show on mobile devices.
But herein still lies the contradiction: when you need an answer, you do not want ads which may be relavant, but may not be *right* on the basis of proximity and need. With a limited display environment, how do you seperate the answers from the ads, while promoting consumer adoption which most always proceeds the ad dollars.
There is money to be made here. But I would look towards the data aggregators and iyps to sell the data to cell phone service providers (sometimes they are one in the same). And from a compensation standpoint, look to users of the service to pay on a per look up basis, or look towards cell phone service providers to simply provide this as an add on *feature*.
Only when the medium has wide user-acceptance will the ad dollars follow. Then its first the national (branding) dollars and then much later, the local dollars. By the time this happens, we will not be talking cell phones and instead be talking about mobile internet devices.