In brief: An analysis on mobile search strengths and shortcomings based on some eye-opening usage stats presented at the recent Mobile Search Masterclass; a summary of key findings from MSG’s own mobile voice search white paper (examining how Google stacks up against ChaCha and Vlingo using Yahoo as the default search engine); and the business case for a new breed of mobile search tools (ranging from social search to SMS search to content verticals) PLUS news you may have missed from Alabot, an Indian company specialized in natural language and artificial intelligent applications which enable interactive, multi-lingual mobile search.
No matter how you look at it (and who you ask) mobile search, the model that has effectively retrofitted Internet search for mobile devices, is riddled with shortcomings This was the message that came across in the interviews I conducted for Mobile Advertising Research UK, the presentations I and other search authorities made during the recent Mobile Search Masterclass in London, and, more recently, in the mobile search assessment white paper (Pump Up The Volume: An Assessment of Voice-Enabled Web Search on the iPhone) I co-authored with Peggy Albright. (DOWNLOAD)
Is mobile search broken? More importantly, how can we fix it? These are the questions I put to a variety of executives representing companies from across the mobile search and advertising business ecosystem. Read between the lines, and their answers – along with my own conclusions – point to areas of improvement and opportunity in mobile search.
MOBILE ADVERTISING RESEARCH UK
Primary research and C-Level interviews with agencies, brands, operators and third-parties reveal mobile search is missing the mark. Their gripe: the poor quality of mobile search (specifically universal search powered by keyword queries and PageRank algorithms) is to blame for a lack of interest and investment in paid search advertising.
As a leading executive at a global brand put it: “Just between the two of us, our spend for search is by far not in the digits yet – and it won’t be….We do a lot in mobile, but the basics of search are not yet at the level of sophistication consumers would expect from us.”
At the other end of the spectrum, agencies are far from upbeat about the short-term outlook for mobile search. As one managing director at a mobile marketing agency put it: “Just the way the content is indexed prevents advertisers from creating a cohesive plan to integrate search in their [mobile] advertising strategies. There is just not the volume to get in and really do some targeted search [advertising], and that’s what brands want: to make advertising personal and relevant to every search the consumer makes.”Read more »