OK, how many times have you searched online today? Now, how many times have you checked your email? If Gmail passes through the gauntlet of privacy activists and gets the number of users it will take to provide real value to advertisers, then AdSense in Gmail will become a crucial product in the advertising mix.
So let's say your competitor buys a text ad in an e-newsletter delivered to a Gmail account. Your AdSense ads, if they're targeted towards keywords from your competitor's ads, could appear in the Gmail ad section, right beside your competitor's. (According to GoogleGuy, "you'll see ads on the right-hand side of your browser page separate from the emails themselves.")
If you open that e-newsletter right away and see what keywords your competitors are targeting you could bid on those keywords and possibly place your ads next to your competitor's.
How long will it be before potential e-marketing clickers are watching for better deals in the AdSense ads displayed beside e-newsletters?
Of course many email advertisements appear in images, so it won't work to bid on keywords that appear in the ads. However, it would work to target other keywords that appear in the content of an article (assuming there's an article), or even any of the text that appears in the email itself, such as the publisher's name.
Once Gmail's operational here's the job for your new marketing hire: read email newsletters where your competitors advertise (especially if advertisements appear in image) and pick out keywords from the content to advertise on.
Publishers, in attempts to kill competition to their advertisers, will have to publish image only emails to Gmail addresses, which will raise bandwidth costs and download time.
Here's what really bugs me though - AdSense ads on websites generate revenue both for the content provider and for Google. If a publisher, also a content provider, sends a newsletter out and Gmail places ads beside it, that publisher receives nothing.
But Garrett (you're saying to yourself), that advertiser's getting eyeballs, which Google provides through their snazzy new email service.
So, I ask you, will email publishers then drive Google's AdSense sales? I think so, especially b2b AdSense sales. Google's volume of b2b AdSense sales for Gmail will come from e-publishers and they won't have to pay a dime for the content.
In a DMNews article Jupiter Analyst David Daniels pointed out another group that would potentially lose, "it would represent a conflict for marketers, meaning it would indicate that the marketer would also have to pay a premium to ensure that they owned the top contextual ad placement in order to displace potential competitors from preying on their e-mail marketing campaigns."
I digress though - if/when Gmail becomes the email of choice for email users we'll see the rise of Gmail optimizers who target soon-to-be-opened mailings from competitors and other online publishers.
Thanks to WebMasterWorld thread New Optimization SubCulture of Gmail Starting To Develop for the concept.