Mobile application search engine Chomp has been making some waves recently. Now, it looks to encroach on territory dominated by Google with an advertising platform designed to connect app advertisers with consumers searching for specific apps.
Chomp Search Ads debuts in a private beta today. It will allow developers to bid on keywords and phrases to deliver ads to users searching for specific phrases in an app store. It is a page directly out of Google's book and a bet that native application search will be a big marketing vertical for developers over the next several years.
Just Like Google: Auction-Based Keyword Platform
Chomp announced that two relatively prominent app developers, local e-commerce platform Zaarly and Kevin Rose-backed Milk, will be two of the first companies to participate in the platform.
The platform is an auction-based service. Advertisers set up an account and load it with cash and Chomp will then recommend search terms based on developer's applications. In turn, a developer can also request certain search terms. Chomp will then show ads for apps based on factors such as bid price and key word relevancy. Like Google, the better the bid price, the better the chance the advertisement will show up in search results though ad relevancy is related to the key word, not the bid.
Payouts come when a user clicks through via a "Get It" button on the ad. This model is a change from the previous method of app advertising, which relied on traditional Web advertising mechanisms such as display and performance ads.
Can Chomp Become the Dominant Player in App Search?
Advertisers and developers can set daily maximum spend limits, meaning that small developers will not go broke if a spammer tries to game the system coming from an advertiser platform.
"Our goal is to make advertising accessible for the bulk of developers -- companies that don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on advertising, yet they rely on search ads to drive discovery and sales," said Ben Keighran, CEO and co-founder of Chomp, in a press release.
Chomp made a big splash a couple of weeks ago when it was integrated by Verizon into its completely rebuilt Android app store that will launch next to the Android Market on every Android phone the carrier sells. Chomp search is based on an algorithm that tries to increase relevancy in native app search by targeting user behavior along key words and phrases like "fun games" or "recipes." App store search is difficult because most apps do not have the requisite searchable metadata that websites have and no linking structure that is the backbone of how Google institutes its own search methods, such as PageRank.
What say you developers? What kind of track is Chomp on here? Do they want to supersede Google at its own game? Or are they on a track to force Google to acquire them? Will Chomp Search Ads be an effective means to market your apps? Let us know in the comments.