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Google Extends Geo-Location Ads to Desktop as Mobile Race Heats Up

Updated from 11:51 a.m. EDT to include company comment. 

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google (GOOGL - Get Report) is expanding one of its most successful mobile advertising features -- location-based advertising -- to the desktop. Location-based, or geo-targeted, advertising shows users ads relevant to their location, such as a sale at a nearby retailer or lunch specials at a local restaurant, and has been integrated with Google's mobile ad strategy since its launch earlier this year.

"We're now enabling retailers to show store-exclusive products on desktop -- a feature so far limited to mobile," Google communications manager Anaik Weid told TheStreet. "We're also expanding local inventory ads internationally, beginning with the U.K., France, Germany, Japan and Australia."

Where mobile ads have normally seen a pared version of desktop strategy, Google is inversing that order by developing mobile features which can then be adapted to desktop. The shift comes as the world's largest search engine puts more of its resources into mobile strategy as it seeks to capitalize on a surge in advertising dollars to the platform. 

Cisco estimates location-targeted mobile advertising will account for $4.5 billion in 2014 and is expected to rise more than 122% to over $10 billion by 2017. Mobile advertising alone will grow 75.1% this year. 

Read More: Facebook's Three Hurdles in Mobile Advertising

Google has been tinkering with its ad effectiveness as it faces the threat of dwindling market share. Over the past two years, Google's mobile ad revenue share has dropped to under 50% as Facebook grabs a larger chunk of the $31.5 billion market.

-- Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York. 

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