Mobile apps are hurting Google.com

Posted: Oct 31, 2013 in Mobile, Paid Search
Tags: , ,

Mobileapps

Ebay, Skyscanner, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Slots by Jackpotjoy, Tesco, Linked In, Sky Sports, BBC News, Google Maps, Gmail, Candy Crush Saga and Capital FM are only a small selection of high quality mobile apps which consumers access on a daily basis or when they need to research.

Before mobile apps existed consumers would typically search for flights, games, radio stations, gifts, news, groceries and sports results via Google generic search, but mobile apps have removed that step and now by simply touching your screen you can access exactly what you want without having to go to Google search.

What does this mean for paid search generic ad spend? It would take a lot to dent the epic proportions of digital spend attributed to paid search, but it’s interesting how consumers are changing the way they search for products and services which in turn makes it harder / more expensive for marketers to acquire customers if they’re behind on product development.

This is a stark warning to many brands that covering key areas of platform development is essential for business success. A prime example of this is with Skyscanner where over 5 million Android users have the native app on their phone, whereas Cheapflights who have predominantly owned the search space for flights still do not have an Android app out yet. When searching for a flight consumers only need one app and most have Skyscanner installed, so unless their CRM / product dev strategy falls apart then it’ll be incredibly hard to convince people to uninstall Skyscanner and then install another flight app and it’s clear that paid search will not help acquisition growth if flight generic search volumes on Google are decreasing.

Although platform development is crucial, it’s not just a case of releasing an app, it’s a case of building a high quality app in line with customer demand.

This could explain the below trends for Google brand searches as a result of virality / WOM. Data is worldwide:

Skyscanner

skyscanner

Cheapflights

cheapflights

888poker

888poker

PKR

pkr

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