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BizReport : Search Marketing : June 16, 2015

Expert: Why mobile could be a problem for Google

Things are changing rapidly in the online space, and according to one expert some of those rapid changes - specially the mobile changes - could spell trouble for online giant Google.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Mobile seems to have become something of a sore spot for Google as consumers use mobile apps to find restaurants and even directions. Do you foresee mobile continuing to be an issue?

Vince Meyer, Vice President of Business Development, adMarketplace: Today, if you need to search for a restaurant you likely don't search on Google. Instead, you open Yelp and the entire search process takes place inside that app and outside of Google. Despite Google's best efforts, searching for flights and hotels isn't much different. Referencing content and showing relevant results is no longer unique to Google, and by reducing scope - and catering to a specific vertical - small publishers are able to provide relevancy that rivals Google. Because of this, users are turning to apps more often, and publishers are doubling their effort to offer as much relevant content and features as possible to keep the user on their apps. This is a major concern for Google.

Kristina: Why has Google's overall search dominance lowered in recent years?

Vince: Google's dominance is eroding as the market is evolving. We can think of this shift in user behavior as the unbundling of search. Think back to fifteen years ago: AOL created a walled garden of curated content. One page served as a portal to everything - sports, travel, finance, news, etc. - AOL told you what you want. Later, Google came along and made the larger web fully searchable, and provided users access to content with one easy search.

Now, mobile has recreated this wall of curated content. Apps provide curated, trusted content right at the user's fingertips. And now, Google needs to find a way to recapture these users.

Kristina: How does the Google Now release change things for them?

Vince: For years Google, has depended on its Search Partner Network (SPN) to provide supplemental growth and scale. However, searches on the SPN will never be as profitable as searches on owned and operated properties because Google has to give back a percentage of revenue every time a user clicks an ad on the SPN.

When an ad shows on Google or plays on YouTube, and someone clicks, Google keeps 100 percent of that click revenue. Margin has been a concern for investors for months now. Now on Tap pushes users to interact with Google owned pages. This increases margins.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: adMarketplace, Google, search marketing, search trends

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