The evolution of mobile search

2015 was the year of mobile in the digital industry. Mobile search traffic exceeded desktop search and the search god Google gave priority to websites that were mobile friendly in search. Mobile search will continual to evolve in several ways.

First mobile search queries will lengthen and will become more like natural language search as voice recognition technology in Siri and Google Now advances. We will see the intelligence of voice searches advance to give you answers rather than web pages.

IMG_6505I’ve already seen an advancement in Siri’s ability to handle multi-level search this week in my own personal use. Rapper and actor Ice T was on the show with his new daughter and wife, Coco. I was trying to figure out how old Coco was so I asked Siri how old Ice T’s wife Coco was. i thought this query was too advanced for Siri, but I had already asked how old Coco was and Siri gave me Coco Chanel. I was wrong. Siri handled my advance query breaking down Ice T and recognizing the association with his wife Coco and giving me both of their ages using Wolfram Alpha.

We will also see search become a primary factor in the evolution of navigation on smartphones. You can see this in IOS’s spotlight search providing search results from app content as well as web contact. It is now even more important that you have an app and the app content is search friendly. Google also see’s the mobile search battle coming and is releasing an IOS keyboard to help it’s search functions to compete on a level playing field with Siri and IOS spotlight search.

Four posts down. 361 to go.

Newsday explains paywall

After revealing they only have 35 online only subscribers and their traffic has dropped by half, a Newsday exec sent out a memo explaining their paywall strategy in two basic points.

“Therefore, Newsday’s web strategy has two parts: 1) to provide Newsday’s print subscribers with a rich web experience that goes far beyond what they can get in the newspaper alone, thereby motivating them to remain, return, or choose to subscribe to Newsday; and 2) to provide Cablevision’s high-speed Internet customers with reasons to remain with Cablevision, reasons to return to Cablevision, or reasons to choose Cablevision.”

Unfortunately, the memo doesn’t mention their mobile web strategy which happens to be wide open for anyone to visit completing discouraging anyone from ponying up the $5 a week subscription to their full fledged web site.

Is geolocation the “holy grail” of mobile advertising?

Google and Apple are both racing to own the mobile advertising platform by adding the new “holy grail” of mobile advertising – geolocation.  The Wall Street Journal reports that both Google and Apple have bought mobile advertising companies and are attempting to leverage their mobile phones to let your local pizza parlor put an ad on your mobile when you start feeling hungry in the late afternoon.  They are reaching out to you and to your local business just like FourSquare to reach you where you are right at this moment.

Foursquares, newspapers and universities

A free Canadian newspaper, Metro,  has struck a deal with foursquare. As you travel around Canada checking  foursquare on your phone you’ll find Metro’s restaurant reviews, city tips, to-dos and stories. It’s a great use of foursquare’s geolocation technology giving the experts at local, your newspaper, a way to give you information about your immediate surroundings.

Foursquares deal with Metro comes after they created custom games for Harvard and UNC Charlotte.

Foursquare checks in with geolocation

I don’t know if mobile is the next big thing or already here, but adoption of geolocation in online tools is a must for mobile to achieve it’s full relevance. Since Foursquare just opened up in Little Rock, I’ve been playing with it via my iPhone this past week and although the number of users and  number of places is limited with next to none participating businesses,  I’m hooked.

A recent article in Time Magazine calls Foursquare’s gaming component it’s “secret sauce” letting you earn points, badges and become a “mayor” when checking-in at new places.  The article says the key to user adoption is for businesses to start give aways to foursquare users who check-in often at their business–  It’s like a frequent eater card, but works virtually. The only location in Little Rock that currently offers a foursquare special is the Capital Bar & Grill with every 10th check-in getting you a free dessert and the mayor receiving a free t-shirt.

I can’t wait until US Pizza starts giving away free pizza to users who have checked in ten times, but until then it’s fun to compare how many points (and check-ins) I can get to my friends.  If you haven’t tried it, go ahead and sign-up and download your app to your phone (they make apps for iPhone, Palm, Blackberry and Android) or use the mobile interface and friend me.