Android shipments in Q4 2010 put the platform in the No. 1 spot among smartphones, and mobile marketers should consider that this means Google is critical to reaching mobile searchers.

Android is reportedly the most rapidly adopted smartphone platform, and new Canalys data suggests the platform is expanding its reach even further. Shipments in Q4 2010 put Android devices in the No. 1 spot among smartphones, and mobile marketers should consider that this means Google is critical to reaching mobile searchers.

The Canalys data indicates that Google accounted for nearly one-third (32.9 percent) of smartphone shipments last quarter. Nokia was arguably a close second, representing 30.6 percent of shipments. Other market leaders Apple, RIM and Microsoft lagged far behind at 16.0 percent, 14.4 percent and 3.1 percent of shipments, respectively.

This means that Google stands to dominate in the mobile realm, where the search engine already has more influence than it holds in the PC market. Statcounter data shows that Google accounts for more than 98 percent of mobile searches.

As mobile internet usage is on the rise – and Brafton has reported that some suggest it is poised to eclipse PC internet usage in the next several months – brands will want to develop aggressive Google search campaigns for mobile. As with any search campaign, quality content will be key to catching clicks from mobile users, especially in light of Google's recent algorithm updates to fight spam. Marketers should remember that studies indicate mobile internet users are highly likely to search for fresh, timely and locally oriented content.

In addition to offering quality content, brands might take advantage of some of Google's new mobile-friendly advertising developments, including its expansion of Google Boost and updated photo options for Google Places users who may be deciding where to shop while on the go. Plus, the company's recent acquisition of SayNow is expected to result in further mobile-social ad platforms this year.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.