Mobile Commerce

Google Search Flips To Mobile

If you felt a strong breeze over the summer, that might have been the majority of Google searches moving to mobile.

Speaking at Re/code’s Code/Mobile conference yesterday (Oct. 8), Amit Singhal, SVP of search for Google, stated that, at some point over the summer, the number of Google searches on mobile devices surpassed the number conducted on desktop worldwide for the first time ever.

Given that the search engine is utilized for more than 100 billion searches a month, that’s a tide change so significant that, as The Wall Street Journal shares, it is compelling Google to rethink the service on which it built its brand.

“Search as we think about it is fundamentally how you will interact with computing,” Singhal remarked at the conference. “Computing may live in a four- to six-inch device, it may live in a desktop, it may live on a one-inch round device.”

Now that the majority of Google searches take place on mobile devices, companies that advertise on the engine (as VentureBeat observes) are likely to adjust their approaches in that regard, while the manner in which Google itself tracks ad performance will also be affected.

The WSJ story points out that in advance of this worldwide behavioral change, Google released a series of mobile-friendly ads that rely on data instead of keywords — as there is significantly less room for the latter on mobile devices than there is on desktop computers.

Another result of the global shift to mobile is, of course, apps, which stand as somewhat of an obstacle for the Google search engine because (as WSJ notes) it cannot look inside them. On that issue, Singhal stated at Code/Mobile that the company is working to index billions of apps so that they can be included in search results.

Singhal additionally noted that the switch from desktop to mobile devices won’t end with smartphones, and new devices — such as wearables and those built into cars — will require the development of new ways of searching.

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