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Mobile Search Beyond Google: In App Search Tools
A couple months back, I covered the rise of a new generation of Windows Phones, and how they will slowly bring more mobile search market share to Bing. But, there’s more to mobile search than just Google and Bing.
The app stores for iOS, Android and Windows offer countless of downloadable apps that offer built-in search engines. Some of these apps are from major players in their respective verticals and may have a more direct impact on your business than the general search engines.
Let’s look at a few business types and the apps that provide good search opportunities.
For Retailers: eBay, Amazon
According to a new IBM study released last week, 25.3% of Thanksgiving Day traffic to retail sites came from smartphones and tablets.
Putting a subset of your inventory on one of these sites can be a great shortcut to reaching mobile users. True, there’s a fee structure around transactions in these markets; and, outside of mobile, you might have a hard time justifying that extra cost. But, when it comes to mobile, participating in these markets avoids another, much larger cost: the investment needed to build a mobile-friendly store of your own.
For Travel Or Fashion: YouTube
If you’ve been on the fence about using video to promote your business, mobile usage could put you over the edge — way over the edge.
According to YouTube, mobile devices now account for a quarter of its traffic. Combine that with the fact that YouTube is the second most popular search engine (that’s right — it beats Bing!), and the result is a search box that can bring a lot of viewers to your content.
This approach is a great way for any business where the visual aspect of its offering is the primary selling point to get on mobile phones. (Trying to brainstorm ideas for video? Start here.)
For Restaurants: Yelp, OpenTable, Siri
I’ve written about how mobile websites can play a key role in attracting diners. But, native apps can be another path to the same goal. For example, Yelp recently released metrics around mobile usage, which now accounts for 40% of its activity.
Other Local Businesses: Apple Maps
Despite all the criticism of Apple’s new mapping function, this app will eventually take over the iOS ecosystem. Since iOS users are the most active shoppers in the mobile space, this will become a major factor for businesses that attract a local clientele. Andrew Shotland has a great review of Apple Maps’ search functions, including a list of the databases these functions tap into.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.