Why mobile search is still wide open

The Motley Fool sheds some much-needed light on the mobile search market in this informative post, which documents how different mobile is from the broader world of online search. The U.S. mobile search market alone is expected to $3.36 billion this year, the piece notes, and Google claims a massive 95 percent share of all worldwide mobile searches. And Google’s recent move to create “enhanced campaigns” is a clear effort to encourage advertisers to expand their campaigns to mobile, removing the option to eschew handsets and tablets in their campaigns.

But the remarkably fragmented world of mobile threatens Google’s dominance in the exploding world of mobile search. Predictably, Google Search dominates the Android platform, but the app doesn’t rank among the ten most-used apps on Apple’s iOS platform. That has a lot to do with the fact that consumers access a wide variety of apps when they’re looking for something on their phones: Users often fire up one app to find people they may know, another to find nearby businesses and yet another to check out a particularly product or service.

And other factors are at play, too: Visual search and virtual reality will become valuable tools in how we find things on our phones in the coming years, and the mobile wallet will let us actually buy things we’re looking for in retail locations — “closing the loop” for advertisers and giving them invaluable insight into the ROI of their campaigns. Google still has some big advantages here, but mobile search is still very much up for grabs.

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Colin Gibbs

Colin Gibbs

Mobile Curator Gigaom Network

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