Google’s New Mobile Monetization Strategy

by Istvan Fekete on March 10, 2014

To “Google” has become a verb, but as smartphone market penetration has reached new heights (66% in the US), the search giant needs to face the threat that its search engine – and as a result is advertising business – could lose field as it becomes less relevant, because the “spiders” that crawl the Web can’t easily navigate apps, reports the Wall Street Journal.

As a recent study from Flurry Analytics points out, users are spending less time using Web browsers on their smartphone: with a connected smart device in their hands, users won’t launch Chrome or Safari and type in Google.com. That works on the desktop. The smartphone experience is totally different: it’s about apps. Users spend 80% of their time using apps.

And that’s a big threat to Google’s $50 billion advertising business.

As a result, the Internet giant has launched an initiative to better see and direct what smartphone and tablet users do on their devices, just like it did on the Web, with an index of the content within mobile apps and links pointing to that content featured in Google’s search results on smartphones.

Facebook and Twitter have launched similar strategies: Facebook is having success with ads that prompt users to download and install apps.

Google, on the other hand, has its own backers/partners in its initiative: Wikipedia, Expedia and Open Table, a restaurant guide, as well as the IMDB movie database. As a result, a search for movie information using the Google search app on an Android phone may show a link to the movie’s page within the IMDB app (for those who have the latter app installed, that is).

Google is also dreaming about this type of search on both iOS and Android platforms.

Since apps are walled off from one another, Google has implemented a technology called “deep linking” (also used by Facebook, Twitter and others). The technology assigns different sections of a mobile app their own address, similar to the addresses for different pages of a website. The links appear like Web links, but take users inside an app.

The next step will, of course, be monetization, although is not yet known when Google will start selling deep links.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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