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22
Aug
2012

Google Mobile Search: “Richer, More Beautiful”

POSTED BY Global Administrator
In our sparkling-new Mobile Search & Discovery report we have forecast that this market will be worth $15 billion annually by 2017. A large chunk of this market is mobile web search; where, as I blogged recently, Google dominates. Not resting on its laurels, Google has been continuing to make its mobile search “richer, more beautiful”. Mobile web search is a broad category, and users will be looking for almost anything you can think of on the web: weather forecasts, stock quotes, solving an equation or converting weight measurements. That said users will be looking for something specific, anad quite often it will something that will result in a purchase – making it an ideal place for advertising, and where Google makes much of its revenue. However, with Google also promoting its app ecosystem, distributed through Google Play, a whole range of services, which we classify separately as local search apps have popped-up which offer more precise, targeted information than you might arguably find via a web search. Google is clearly aware of this though. User Experience Designer, Jeromy Henry recently blogged about how the company was adding new features to its search results from queries on mobile devices. When users search for weather, for example, they will now see a new 10-day and hourly interactive weather forecast. Searching for any calculation on Google.com will bring up a fully-functional scientific calculator on the other hand. “Instant-answers” has been a USP of start-up web search company DuckDuckGo (which deserves a mention also for its stand-out brand name), but Google is not to be outdone: “For example, in our flight status quick answer, we’ve included a flight progress indicator and increased the size of arrival and departure times so you can quickly see when your loved ones will be landing.”  Google has added many other “quick answer” features covering finance, currency conversion, unit conversion, dictionary definitions, local time lookup, and holiday and sunrise times. Henry says: “In all these quick answers we’ve simplified the experience so you can focus on the answer you were looking for. For example, for unit conversions the answer is displayed prominently for a question like [how many miles are 42 kilometers]. If you’d like to convert another unit of measure like [how many yards in a mile], you can simply tap the card and see the full unit converter right there.”  Google says these features are now available on google.com in English for mobile devices (including tablets), while they will be heading-onto desktop and international versions in the near future. All of this adds to the richness of mobile search, making it more relevant to the end-user (and countering the competition from the local search app space), which in turn means advertising gets more “eyeballs”. This is why we are predicting such a healthy future for this market…