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Google Says Mobile Searches Now Surpass those from PCs
Mobile devices continue to take on more and more functionality that previously was handled by traditional computers, a trend often referred to as mobile first. The latest evidence of this trend comes from Google, which found that more people in the U.S. and nine other countries are using its search engine with mobile devices to search the Web than are using personal computers. A Google exec announced the tipping point at a digital advertising conference this past Tuesday, according to a Wireless Week repost of an AP Technology report.
Thanks to Android, Google has been better able than other high-tech giants to adapt to the new reality, argued AP reporter Michael Liedtke, who noted that Google has grown its ad revenue-driven business as mobile search has grown. That said, Google's average ad prices have been dropping for the past three-and-a-half years, partly because marketers have been unwilling to pay as much for commercial messages displayed on the smaller smartphone screens, according to Liedtke.
That appears poised to change, however. Google has been taking advantage of the portability of mobile devices and the large base of Android mobile app developers to introduce a range of mobile advertising and m-commerce apps that smartphone and other mobile device owners are using while shopping and at the point-of-sale.
Furthermore, Google says mobile ad prices have been increasing steadily of late and Liedtke predicts they will continue to do so as marketers recognize the value of being able to connect with prospective customers at the exact moment when they are looking for some place to eat or comparing products on a smartphone while standing in a store.
"The future of mobile is now," Liedtke quoted Jerry Dischler, a Google Inc. vice president in charge of the company's "AdWords" service, which is used to create online marketing campaigns.
Web Search Trends
Google doesn't reveal how many mobile search requests it processes. Across all connected devices globally, the Mountain View, CA-based company processes more than 100 billion search requests a month, according to the AP report.
Looking to ride mobile search's growing wave, Google last month introduced advertising formats designed to better display ads on mobile devices. It has also rejiggered its Web site ranking algorithm in favor of sites that are easier to read on smartphones and that load more quickly, Liedtke noted.
In addition, Google has introduced m-commerce formats for things like comparison shopping, as well as booking hotel rooms. One option lets customers swipe an ad across a smartphone screen for more information, the AP report states.
At the digital ad conference, Google introduced a mobile comparison shopping option for mortgages that builds on a similar service previously launched for auto insurance policies.