Consumer Trend: How and what are we searching?
Monday mornings are definitely not the right time to blog, but I could not stop myself from writing about something that largely went unnoticed recently.
People searched less!!
That’s never happened before. Notably, total core organic searches declined 4 percent y/y, representing the first decline in total search volume since 2006. Tech insiders have been predicting this would happen for some time, as people shifted from using websites, where search is a natural activity, to using mobile apps. No less a luminary than Steve Jobs made this prediction in 2010 at the D8 conference:
“We discovered something—people are going into apps. They’re not just going onto to websites. And people love apps. This is an entirely new thing—they aren’t using search, they’re using apps like Yelp.”
This seems to be terrible news for players like Yahoo and Microsoft who are investing heavily to catch up with the leader Google in the marketplace. On the other hand, Google may not be that hard hit with this changing consumer trend. Yes, most of its business is built around search. But it has its own mobile ecosystem in Android, so it’s positioned to capture consumers as they shift from searching on the Web to using specialized apps to express and fulfill their desires. And with YouTube and Google+, it has strong social properties that don’t depend on search.
It’s fantastic for Apple, of course, which doesn’t have a stake in the search business but has a lock on most of the profits in the app economy. It’s also good for players like Amazon, Yelp, and eBay, which handle specialized kinds of commercial searches that work well when packaged into a mobile app.
We believe this trend will increasingly become prominent in the future with VPA’s (Virtual personal assistant) like SIRI helping us make the right choice based on our personal algorithms. Watch out for some interesting developments in this space.
What do you think? Let us know your thoughts…