Search — the very cornerstone of the Web — has begun to show signs of decline on desktops and laptops.
Meanwhile, search is surging on smartphones and tablets. Mobile searches are quickly becoming the main way in which consumers find everything they need — whether it’s information, services, or physical and digital goods.
That means there’s a great opportunity, but also that search has more work to do. There are kinks to figure out in areas ranging from app discovery to tracking the effectiveness of local search ads.
In a recent report from BI Intelligence, we analyse the current state of mobile search, look at how different players in the mobile ecosystem can better take advantage of new mobile-driven search behaviours, detail why search quality is an important issue and why marketers need to gain visibility across multiple search-driven platforms, analyse how mobile search will create opportunities for developers, and examine how it will help determine which platforms succeed or fail in coming years.
Here’s a brief overview of the current state of mobile search:
- Google currently dominates: Google enjoys a 95% share of worldwide mobile search queries, but Google’s year-over-year CPC growth has been negative for five quarters beginning in late 2011, as cheap mobile clicks create drag on ad prices. In order to combat the low CPCs, and the monetization gap, Google recently overhauled its immensely successful search-focused ad product, AdWords. The update is complex, but Google is essentially forcing advertisers to design campaigns around context rather than specific device types — and there is no guarantee this new approach will work.
- Search fragmentation could change everything: Search’s future depends on how consumers behave on mobile. Will browsers and search engines continue to funnel search behaviour? Or will apps tend to mediate search experiences? Consumers are searching more on apps vertically focused on specific categories like shopping and restaurants. That includes location-aware searches, which are increasing outside of Google’s ecosystem.
- Mobile search advertising has a bright future: Despite bumps in the road — such as the problems with measuring mobile conversions, and confusion over device-targeting — mobile search has a great future as a marketing tool. The key is closing the consumer loop from online search to offline purchases so marketers understand the value proposition.
- Mobile-native search approaches will proliferate: As startups grasp for a search formula geared to mobile consumers, we can expect an increase in mobile-native search innovation. One area ripe for innovation is app search. It’s difficult to find apps beyond the blockbuster Top 25 list on Google Play and Apple’s App Store, both cluttered with nearly a million titles.
In full, the special report:
- analyses the current state of mobile search
- Explains how mobile consumers are searching more on all sorts of different apps
- Looks at how different players in the mobile ecosystem can better take advantage of new mobile-driven search behaviours
- Details why search quality is an important issue in many apps and why marketers need to gain visibility across multiple search-driven platforms
- analyses how mobile search will create opportunities for developers
- Examines how mobile search will help determine which platforms succeed or fail in coming years