In the search world, the last week has been all about mobile.
At SMX West on Tuesday, Foursquare’s Tristan Walker gave a keynote where he talked about expanding Foursquare as a customer loyalty and acquisition platform for business. To that end, they’ve launched new social and engagement features (just in time for SXSW!).
How is this related to search? Here’s the key sentence from Foursquare’s 3.0 announcement:
For years we’ve wanted to build a recommendation engine for the real world by turning all the check-ins and tips we’ve seen from you, your friends, and the larger foursquare community into personalized recommendations.
Foursquare’s new “explore” tab lets you search for anything you want (from “coffee” to “80s music”) and provides results based on all the information Foursquare has at its disposal, including places your friends have visited and the time of day.
Google is trying to get in this space with Latitude and Hotpot. After all, how can Google possibly hope to offer the same quality search results for “wifi coffee” without data about what kinds of coffee houses you and your friends frequent most often? This is personalization based on overall behavior, not just online behavior, and it’s both fascinating and creepy to think about the logical next steps.
Unfortunately for Google, they missed a huge opportunity to get in on this space early when they acquired Dodgeball and effectively killed it, causing the founders to leave Google and start Foursquare.
Bing is also investing in mobile/local search, the latest being “local deals” on iPhone and Android (although not yet on Windows mobile).
Continued growth in mobile
According to discussion from a recent local online advertising conference, mobile advertising could become the dominant form of online advertising by 2015. About 5% of paid search is currently mobile, and that number could double by year’s end. Google has about 98% mobile search share in the United States and 97% of mobile search spend.
Google says mobile search accounts for 15% of their total searches, distributed as follows:
- 30% – restaurants
- 17% – autos
- 16% – consumer electronics
- 15% – finance and insurance
- 15% – beauty and personal
Continued discussion of Google’s “content farm” update
As discussed last week, Google’s algorithm change impacted 12% of queries and the talk about it has not died down. I wrote a diagnostic guide about analyzing data and creating an action plan and Google opened a thread in their discussion forum to get feedback from site owners.
OK, maybe this isn’t really search, except that it’s coming from Google, but it’s self-driving cars! We live in the future!
Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan took some video at TED of the cars in action, including some footage inside an actual self-driving car.
Surely flying cars are next.
News tips are always welcome, so please send them along.