If Search = Money… We’d Want To Be Found?
The internet has made us an information hungry generation, and for the past 12-15 years has changed the way we do everything in our everyday lives. Our need to ‘find’ the information we are looking for on the internet has lead to search engines becoming the ultimate tool to surf the web. Now we all know search can’t be spoken of without mentioning Google, Google can’t be spoken of without mentioning advertising, and search advertising can’t be mentioned of without someone making money from it (ROI).
So, Search = Money.
No one has mastered online search quite as elegantly as Google. Google’s dominance has been clear for many years (through desktop browsing), simply because of how quickly and easily it returns highly relevant results to the user. Some statistics indicate a dominance of as much as 90% of search market share, but how does this translate on the mobile search landscape? Research from Pingdom suggests a phenomenal mobile search share of over 98% (yes over 98%!) for the search giant; this of course has not happened by chance.
Google has long been at the forefront of diversifying its services to maintain a steady growth for the long term success of the business. One of its most successful fringe projects has come in the form of a mobile operating system by the name of Android. Launching the open source mobile operating system in September 2008 caught many people by surprise, but contrary to early industry predctions, has surged in popularity and already secured a 25% global market share in smartphones eclipsing Apple’s iOS in less than 2 years of its launch. But Google’s domination came long before the launch of android, cementing its place early with the first wave of (usable) mobile internet browsers, the iPhone. By providing high quality integrated Google services (Search, Maps, Gmail etc.) with the iPhone (which to an extent has added to the appeal of the device), and the acquisition of the largest mobile ad network (AdMob) in the first half of 2010, its clear Google’s plans have been to take the bull by the horns and lay the foundations in the rapidly growing mobile market. By 2015, mobile internet is predicted to surpass the number of desktop users online.
And, Mobile Market = Growth.
Given the current phase of mobile internet access is going through and the direction it is heading, it seems to be a prime time to invest in a mobile front for any business. Though there is substantial scope for mobile search on a basic level, the opportunity is far from restricted to mobile search. Integrating services with easy payment options (PayPal, Google checkout etc) or targeted mobile display advertising are among the many possibilities in the growing mobile landscape, making your business more accessible on the go, is the target. Making inroads early could very well be the key in developing a long term trusted mobile presence with users, with statistics showing that 46% of British mobile users are aged between15-24. It’s a matter of identifying the opportunities currently available that are relevant to your brand (adding 3D barcodes to advertising materials and product availability for mobile price comparisons i.e. ShopSavvy) and exploring the possibilities of new mobile technologies on the horizon (i.e. Google and Nokia backed NFC in mobile).
It’s an interesting road ahead, 2010 was a huge shift for the mobile sector and with the surge in popularity for portable tablets such as the iPad and the exponential growth of the Android OS, 2011 is set to be a bigger year for mobile technology and growth, but are businesses and marketeers really prepared for the year they’ve been waiting for?