A number of advertisers are beginning to receive emails from Google announcing upcoming changes to the ability to target tablet devices. Current device targeting in AdWords lumps in the iPad with mobile phones and doesn't provide an option to segment out newer tablets hitting the market like Samsung's Galaxy Tab and the Motorola Xoom: The new settings will include a checkbox to target "Tablets with full browsers" similar to the the option for mobile devices above. This is welcome news. Last year, we pointed out that iPad users were converting at rates similar to desktop users and recommended that advertisers not go along with Google's default groupings, which would lead to underspending for the iPad. In recent weeks, we have even seen iPad users begin to convert at higher rates than desktop users: For the time being, Apple's iPad is definitely the dominant player in the tablet arena, but we would expect to see similar devices perform roughly on par with it from a conversion perspective. It remains to be seen whether any of the Android tablet devices will be able to gain appreciable share in the space, but should they, it's good to know we will have the control to segment them out from desktops and phones. It's a bit surprising that it took Google so long to make this change, given their laser focus on revenue growth, but better late than never and this is a case where the benefits should flow both ways. Google's announcement is a bit vague on the timing and scope of the roll-out saying only that it will be in "the coming weeks."
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