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Why Mobile is the Future and Top 5 Mobile Search Engines

Filed under Mobile Apps

This is the age of mobile. We love our phones, which are super-devices that do everything for us. Well, almost. The number of smartphone users globally stood at 1.6 billion in 2015, with the figure expected to rise to 2 billion in 2016. The proliferation of mobile devices means that more and more people are now carrying out an increasing number of searches through their phones and tablets. Google receives more queries on mobile than through desktop searches.

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Consider that 44 percent of Yahoo’s U.S. organic search traffic originated from mobile devices. Google had the highest share of organic mobile search traffic with 47 percent. That is a tremendous opportunity for businesses to be found. After all, Internet search is a lot more convenient with mobile phones. Why bother powering up your laptop when your phone can carry out that very same search and it’s right there in your pocket?

How search behavior is different on mobile

Our lives are busy and we are more reliant on technology than ever.

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Mobile devices, mostly smartphones, take us through the day. Whether it’s reading and/or replying to emails, liking posts on Facebook, sharing content via RSS feeds, chatting with friends, watching videos, paying bills, booking tickets or shopping online — it’s mostly done through our phones now.

Who has the time to wait until they get around a laptop or a desktop to carry out a function which can be accomplished in a fraction of that time via a touch on their mobile screens?

Speed and convenience define mobile search. These components are what drives conversions in big numbers. Consider Google’s study of consumer behavior regards to mobile search:

  • Mobile search is always on, regardless of time or location. In fact, 77% of mobile searches happen at home, where access to desktop/laptop typically isn’t a problem.
  • The likelihood of follow-up actions taking place is high with mobile search, with each search on average triggering two such actions.
  • These follow-up actions, whether conversions, further queries or in-store visits, happen within an hour.

Optimizing for mobile search

This is pure gold for businesses. If companies are not optimizing their websites for mobile, they are missing out on a major source of revenue. However, as per one report, one in four websites has neither been designed nor optimized for mobile use. That is a staggering statistic.

Technology and consumer behaviour evolve quickly. Businesses cannot afford to lag. They need to not just optimize their websites for better access and performance on smartphones, but also update them in accordance with Google updates for better search rankings.

Google, though, is not the only search engine for which your website should be optimized. There are other search engines, too, which are also gaining in popularity. You don’t want to miss out on any business. By ensuring your website shows up in search results on these engines, you’d be maximizing the business your company generates.

Top Mobile App Search Engines

These are all highly rated across platforms and have installs in the excess of a million. In case of the top rated app, however, they go up to a billion!

1. Google

The world’s favorite search engine is also the most preferred and used in the mobile category. More than a billion installs on the Google Play Store prove this!

That is little surprise since search is synonymous with Google for most of us. It comes either pre-installed on most mobile devices (certainly Android-powered ones), or is among the first apps to be installed by users. Search is quick, easy and familiar with this app. Optimizing for Google should be the first step for businesses.

2. Bing Search

Bing is the second most popular search engine in the world, and is gaining popularity every year. With a different and pleasing interface, Bing is a very mobile-friendly search app, regardless of the OS. There’s an additional feature that helps online shoppers on the go. Its built-in barcode scanner lets shoppers scan products and compare prices, with a tap on the screen, across major retailers in the US to aid quick purchase decisions.

Like Google, Bing provides its users with a well-integrated and deep search experience. Microsoft has also launched Bing Torque, a voice assistant, to aid even faster search.

3. Yahoo Search

With a significantly less number of downloads and installs than Google, Yahoo nevertheless has its fair share of users and fans.
One of the earliest and the original popular search engines, Yahoo still has a charm associated with it. Users love the customization capabilities of the engine and the reliability of the information returned. Other Yahoo apps such as Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Weather and Yahoo News are also very popular with users.

4. DuckDuckGo

This relatively new and up-and-coming search engine is the exact opposite of Google. It doesn’t track you! Privacy-loving individuals love it. On the flip side, there are no personalized suggestions. Anyone, anywhere on the planet would receive the same search results depending on the keywords entered. But in the eyes of some users that provides “truer search,” since it is unaffected by filters.

DuckDuckGo gets its content from Wikipedia and partnerships with other search engines like Yandex, Yahoo!, Bing, and Yummly.
It is also included as a search option within Safari and Mozilla Firefox. The search engine ended 2015 on a high and is averaging more than 10 million searches per day.

5. Vurb

Vurb is young and still small but has big ambitions. It is made for mobile. It lets users search between apps, and unlike links produced by Google and presented in the form of an index, Vurb gives users actionable cards that contain contextual information. Users don’t have to leave the app they may be using in order to get the relevant information.

In the short time that it has been operational, Vurb has seen glowing reviews, primarily due to the ease and relevance of its search function, and we predict a steady uptick in its popularity.

Tying it all together

Businesses need to optimize their websites for mobile searches. Make it a point to keep abreast with technology trends, especially in the mobile and Web sphere.

Our mobile devices are becoming more and more integrated into our lives. Successful businesses will be the ones that adapt to changes and tap into the potential presented by technological developments. I see this as a tremendous positive for small businesses. They don’t need big marketing and advertising budgets anymore. By simply interpreting these trends correctly and working with them, they have the potential to generate significant revenue.

Guest Author: Michael Georgiou

Michael Georgiou is the CMO and Co-founder of Imaginovation, a full service, turn-key digital solutions company serving Raleigh, NC and Charlotte, NC. He’s a dynamic business professional with proven success in creative strategy, online branding, project management and communication projects.

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