March 17, 2010 By: Janice Partyka GPSWorld
Google was awarded a killer patent for the use of location information in advertising. The search giant can leverage the patent to control the use of location information in ads, one of the most targeted and hence, lucrative, parameters of mobile and web-based advertising. The patent covers all the good stuff: using location for targeting ads, setting a minimum price bid for an ad, offering performance analytics, and modifying the content of an ad. It enables advertisers to enter location data to improve targeting, and track ad performance according to location metrics and analytics.
In the patent, Google describes using location information as an attribute to determine ad placement, tracking performance in different geographic areas and, perhaps most importantly, targeting potential customers based on their location. "The usefulness, and consequently the performance, of advertisements are improved by allowing businesses to better target their ads to a responsive audience," states Google.
How will Google use the patent? Sometimes large companies obtain patents as a benign and simple defensive action to ensure their rights are not challenged, and not as a ploy to collect licensing fees or stop other company’s operations. In the case of Google, I’m putting my money on a Darth Vader scenario. It would hurt a Silicon Valley nemesis, Apple, who, like Google, recently purchased a mobile advertising company.