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WSJ: The Threat to Google's Search Engine: Mobile App Search

     
12:45 pm on Mar 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Its name has become a verb meaning "to search," but as users shift to mobile devices, Google Inc. is suddenly faced with the threat that its search engine—and its advertising business—are becoming less relevant.WSJ: Google Challenged Over Mobile App Search [online.wsj.com]
The company was built with the help of an army of "spiders" deployed to crawl the Web, and sophisticated algorithms to rank the value of pages. But in the mobile age, those spiders can't easily navigate the apps where users are spending most of their time, threatening Google's roughly $50-billion advertising business.

In response, Google in the fall launched an initiative to better see—and direct—what smartphone and tablet users do on their devices. The effort seeks to mimic what Google built on the Web, with an index of the content inside mobile apps and links pointing to that content featured in Google's search results on smartphones.
7:37 pm on Mar 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure that I understand all of this. Does it mean that Google will be sending more traffic to these apps and less traffic to regular websites?
8:07 pm on Mar 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Does it mean that Google will be sending more traffic to these apps

Ummm... no.

Think of an app as a piece of virgin countryside or an unspoilt beach.

Google Inc wants to erect advertising billboards there.

...
8:25 pm on Mar 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



Does it mean that Google will be sending more traffic to these apps and less traffic to regular websites?

Maybe the Google app will. That would make sense, wouldn't it? If you choose to use the free-standing google app instead of opening google within your mobile browser, you might also like to use other sites' apps-- if available-- instead of the browser version.

It's a whole parallel internet. Easier to touch an icon on your iThingie's desktop than to remember which arcane symbol in the mobile browser represents a bookmark, or to "click" on a link within the google app to open a parallel browser window. (That's how the iPad works. The google app talks to Safari in some way.)
12:01 pm on Mar 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The point here is that there's a whole other part of the net that google can't or hasn't got access. Apps are one example, and in-house systems, such as amazon's kindle, and apple itunes entirely bypass Google.
2:34 pm on Mar 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Apps are one example, and in-house systems, such as amazon's kindle, and apple itunes entirely bypass Google.


For shopping, apart from groceries and clothing, most things we buy now come from Amazon via our Kindle including car accessories, wine, even speciality foods and spices. We still use it to search for information though but since Google is so poor at producing that we usually go to Bing. Perhaps they need a different algo for mobile? Currently I get the same results for the searches I make on desktop, Kindle and iphone, even though we use them all for different purposes.
 

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