Commentary

Google Updates The Play For Mobile

Do the latest Internet Advertising Bureau numbers released Wednesday related to search and mobile come as a surprise? They shouldn't.

IAB numbers released Wednesday estimate mobile ad revenue rose 145% to $3 billion in the first half of 2013, compared with the year-ago period. Search revenue in the first half of 2013 rose 7% to $8.7 billion, compared with in the first half of 2012.

Consumers continue to reach for their smartphones to connect online. Over the past two years, smartphone penetration in the U.S. nearly doubled from 31% to 56%, while smartphones as a percentage of new handset sales surged from 50% to 85%, per Google. The numbers come from a Google & Ipsos Our Mobile Planet, 2011-2013, and Mary Meeker Internet Trends Presentation 2013, respectively.

Voice search will increase the pace of adoption. To give marketers some help adjusting to the change, Google released an updated version Wednesday of The Mobile Playbook originally launched last year. The initial version addressed more elementary questions such as what the value proposition is and how to connect with multi-screen audiences. The new version delves deeper into how to address showrooming challenges, whether to build a mobile Web site or mobile app, and how marketers should view the value of mobile efforts across devices, calls and in-store engagement.

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One out of five consumer searches are related to a local store or location. Some 94% of smartphone users search for location information, 51% visit a store, 48% call a store, and 29% make a purchase. About 80% of mobile searches trigger a store visit within five hours of the initial search. One thing is for sure -- the ability to access information through the Internet will become integrated into all applications and devices in the future.

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