Google sees mobile search on the rise

Mikael Ricknäs, IDG News Service, Stockholm bureau
28 Mar 2008

Google's search tool for mobile phones has increased searches by 20 percent, according to the company.

The software for Nokia, BlackBerry and now also Windows Mobile phones, makes searching 40 percent quicker, because it needs fewer clicks and there's no waiting for a browser to download the search engine's Web page, Google said.

Ease of use has become a mantra for the mobile phone sector, the success of Apple's iPhone being one of the primary motivating factors. Making services simpler to use will lead to increased use of mobile Internet in all shapes and forms.

But it is also proving to be true, as in the case of search, according to Google.

'Faster is proving to be much better on the mobile phone,' said Google spokesman Anthony House.

But ease of use isn't the only reason for increased usage. Flat rate data plans also help.

As mobile search grows in popularity so will ad revenues, something that isn't lost on Google.

'We always say get the users first, then worry about the money,' said House.

But mobile will increase in importance over the next five years as a means to make more money from search, according to House.

Revenue generated from mobile search will reach US$4.8 billion by 2013, according to a study from Juniper Research, published on Tuesday.

Just like Google, Juniper sees ease of use and flat rate data tariffs as driving factors.

But Windsor Holden, principal analyst with Juniper, also has a warning for carriers and search companies: advertising overload might turn users off and limit adoption.

Google thinks there still is work to be done: The challenge is put ads on the small screen in a way that isn't annoying to users, House said.

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