We recently told you about Android growth leveling off in the US, and didn’t see much reason to be alarmed by it. In doing a little more digging on the subject, we’ve come across another startling trend for Google and Android. This one has further reaching implications, and may be much more concerning for Google.
Google is, at its core, a search company. It’s what got them to where they are, and what continues to earn them the bulk of their revenue. Google is also committed to being a ‘mobile first’ company, which makes quite a bit of sense when you have the #1 mobile platform in Android in your back pocket. Then, if we consider Google Glass, which could be poised to have a very search-centric user interface, these new findings could be troubling.
In a new study, the New York Times is reporting that Google is losing ground in mobile search. If we take shopping searches, for example, Amazon has a larger share than Google. Why is that?
Very simply put, people want answers. If I want to know how much a new coffee maker will cost, I don’t want links to the company websites. Amazon provides those answers, but they’re specific to shopping. Just like Yelp could eat into (pun intended) Google’s search queries regarding restaurants, certain concentrated apps just fare better for those things which they consider their bailiwick.
The problem is large enough with one or two of these services, and more could be quite troublesome. Google’s challenge will be to get us away from using those services, and into utilizing their own. That’s a tall order, but Google is positioning themselves well for a push.
Google already has Zagat, which ties into their other services like Google+ well. Google shopper is a growing program, and could end up offering a lot more than Amazon is prepared to. After all, Amazon is perpetually in the red, so they’re in no position to make as significant a move as Google seems to be preparing for.
Once again, should we be concerned? Search, or ‘knowledge’ as Google has coined the future of it, is huge. Search, and by virtue ad revenue, is the reason we have all the fun Google-y stuff we do (like Android). Google still controls the bulk of search, but anything that threatens the heart of that is reason to be concerned.
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Good question. But, Google quite often, through Google Now, is giving me answers to what I want without my precisely searching for it. So, does that count?
I don’t think this is anything to worry about. There are emerging specialized search clients which will start to take some of Googles searches but I really don’t think they have very much to worry about in the big picture. Google’s name is synonymous to internet for a lot of people and those people aren’t going anywhere.
I just used Google Shopping to buy a laptop. Worked great actually.