Mobile Apps Trumps Mobile Search

What is the state of mobile search and mobile apps? At this time Google search on mobile has the biggest stake, but mobile apps, Apple owns  70% of the market.

With Apple apps online store recently opened up beginning of 2009, they have had over a billion downloads for mobile apps.  Yes, many are free downloads, but still the charged ones rolled in at $150 to $300 million dollars as I type this article. Not bad!

We’re not saying to abandon your website on the internet and get it optimized for organic search. However, for marketing of your business you need to know that there will be more people carrying a smartphone or mobile device than a laptop.

That means mobile apps for iPhone, Google Androids, Blackberry/Palm sales will climb due to the directness of the app. Bear in mind this is for mobile device/smartphones, and its the simplicity of getting information quickly versus typing into a query box.  Here are some examples of iPhone apps:

  • looking up a local business category (e.g. “energy efficient window”) in Google, I use the Yellow Pages app, which will even automatically calculate my location via GPS
  • looking up a local taxi company when I’m traveling, I can use the Taxi Magic app on the iPhone (again, it will automatically get my location from GPS if I allow it)
  • looking up local restaurants or a restaurant consultant in Google, I can use the Yelp iPhone app
  • Instead of using news aggregators like Google News and Techmeme – which I tend to use on my PC – on the iPhone I usually go straight to news sites with strong iPhone apps or pages, such as AP News, Reuters, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and MoneyWatch (a CBS sister site to TechRepublic).

A final example points to one of the reasons why mobile apps trump mobile search. Mobile search you don’t always know whether the text you click on in the search results will be viewable or optimized on your smartphone. But if you have a mobile app or site that’s designed for that smartphone/mobile device then you can be  confident that a search using that app will quickly return results (and links) that are optimized for a smartphone/mobile device.

Here’s another factor, the limited screen size and computing capacity of smartphones force developers to make their apps super-focused on a specific task. This automatically guards against feature-creep and makes most apps simpler and faster to use. As a matter of fact, there are some sites and services where I prefer their iPhone apps view because the smartphone version is much more focused, easier to navigate, and faster like West Coast Vinyl.

Mobile specialized apps (iPhone, Androids, Blackberry/Palm) are providing a much more tailored experience than mobile search portals like Google and Yahoo.

Here’s a comment from Jason Hiner Editor-in-Chief of Tech Republic – ” I fully expect smartphones to become the most widespread global computing platform in the next five years, driven heavily by the developing world, where the smartphone will be the primary PC for the majority of users. And as smartphones become more dominant, it is going to naturally migrate some power and influence away from search (and Google) and toward mobile computing applications”.

If you have a website make it mobile optimized for quick loading, and razor focused on topic!

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