Whither Mobile Search?

Filed in Local Search by Matt McGee on May 1, 2007 1 Comment

Mobile search was apparently one of the hot topics at last week’s ad:Tech conference, and Kevin Ryan has a good overview of the discussion on iMediaConnection:

Is Mobile Search Still Futile?

It’s a very comprehensive article, covering current industry stats re: the ad marketplace, mobile search users, etc. His “bottom line” is quite revealing:

The bottom line is mobile search has yet to reach critical mass and no one seems to want to say when mobile search budgets might go beyond “rounding error” status. In the short term, mobile search marketing is an easy, if not slightly ahead, futile endeavor. That is, it’s cheap, does not require massive resources, and it provides a significant return but will not provide a massive volume of returns.

That sounds, to me, like the local search situation say … two years ago, maybe. In other words, it’s a great time to get in early, but don’t expect too many benefits just yet.

My take? As I said in my 2007 Search Predictions, I’m not drinking the mobile search kool-aid. I’m still not. But I amended that a few days later on the pretense that Apple’s iPhone might make mobile search somewhat more enjoyable than it is now. It can’t be much worse, can it?

[tags]mobile search, local search[/tags]

Comments (1)

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  1. Ciaran says:

    Hi Matt,

    Great post. I definitely see your point about not getting caught up in hype – you mention unfulfilled buzz around local – I’d add the whole vertical search thing to that).

    Having said that, I have to say that I think that mobile will definitely become a major channel, especially for small business owners.

    Paying attention to simple things like making sure that your content is tagged for location, invites user recommendations and the like, has got to be a sound investment – especially when you look at the huge leaps in what the phones can provide now.

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