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eMarketer Report: Apps Threatening Google’s Mobile Search Dominance

eMarketer Report: Apps Threatening Google’s Mobile Search Dominance

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Google has long dominated the search engine, but it is losing momentum on the mobile front as people are turning to apps for search instead, according to a recent report from eMarketer. Mobile users have more now have more specialized alternatives for finding information, says Cathy Boyle, a senior analyst for mobile at eMarketer.

According to eMarketer, Google owned 82.8% of the $2.24 billion mobile search market in 2012 with results dropping to 68.5% in 2013. Researchers expect it to fall down to 65.7% by the end of this year.

This report concludes that mobile search behavior is straying away from desktop behavior; as tablets and smartphones become more sophisticated, so are the users. Mobile users are using apps for searching, such as Yelp and Kayak, and this is greatly impacting Google’s mobile search. In fact, it’s expected that Yelp’s mobile search revenue will grow 136% to reach $119.4 million in 2014, accounting for more than 40% of the company’s search intake.

According to Boyle:

“App-based searching is a new phenomenon that pales in comparison with the longstanding practice of querying a search engine, and the degree to which mobile users rely on both methods for finding information is unclear. Still, in light of the growing popularity and time spent with apps, search marketers that recognize this behavior and focus on increasing visibility within apps aligned to their industry and business objectives will be best positioned to connect with the largest number of mobile users.”

The report shows the the trend of mobile advertising will likely account for 85.9% of digital ad search dollars by 2018, according to eMarketer’s study, reaching a projected $28.41 billion. 

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However, the findings also predict that Google’s massive share will drop significantly, from 82.8% in 2012 to only 64.2% by 2016. 

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These reports pose a challenge to Google; the company will need to adapt to the increasingly mobile-driven world. According to the report, mobile advertising in the US will total $17.73 billion in 2014, with mobile search spending accounting for more than half of that total, or $9.02 billion. By 2018, they estimate that mobile search spending will reach $28.41 billion, or 85.9% of the US digital search advertising market.

According to Boyle,

“The single biggest challenge for Google is that of apps competing for mobile ads.”