Mobile is driving the future of search: from money to personalisation

I seem to have spent years in agencies, inhouse roles and as a freelance seo consultant saying “when thinking about Google you need to think about the money” and now that line of thought has to be even more pertinent.

Recently Google has had a bit of a rough time of it due to a slowdown in results, largely caused by their failure to capitalise on mobile traffic whereas Facebook indicates more than 70% of its revenue come from mobile users.

So we’ve got to keep in mind that search is going to be further changed by the disruption caused by mobile technology.

Google saw a slowdown of 6% in cost per click revenues year-on-year in 2014 and this impacted on the value of Google’s stock and it appears this is a trend that’s going to continue. This will naturally affect the CPC costs and there will be something of a viscous cycle until things stabilise.

Google is going to have to come to terms with mobile and develop a business model that will deliver growth across the company’s core products – and that means search especially pay per click advertising.

This means Google is going to have to lead the way, it needs to understand how brands can make money online fast (because it’s the brands that are struggling to make mobile work too).

Although Google is going to maintain its place in the market there are now a lot more ways to find information and if one of those can get volume and can do advertising better than Google on mobile, I suspect they’ll have a fight on their hands.

Google executives themselves are now admitting in private that more people are going direct to websites and cutting out Google altogether as the online world’s brands become more established.

I’ve been banging on about the personalisation era for years, and mobiles, the casual way in which we use them on the go and their being great for localising and personalising content means we’re rapidly seeing websites implementing personalisation algorithms on responsive sites and through apps – all of which make people less likely to search because the sites we’re on are working that bit harder to deliver the right content at first contact.

The knowledge graph is going some way to help Google understand what people want and it should provide them with the rich resource to deliver better answers, predicting what individuals want to see based on their personal preferences.

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