Mobile search to be worth $15bn by 2017

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Mobile search and discovery is about to get big. Seriously big. In fact, it’s expected to be worth US$15-billion by 2017.

According to UK-based tech analysis company Juniper Research, that means that market will nearly triple in the next five years.

The primary drivers of this increase are expected to be click-through and cost-per-click rates for search & discovery, including web search, local search, augmented reality search and discovery apps.

Juniper Research reckons that’s because people are in the market for a discrete group of products or services, and can therefore be accurately targeted by advertisers.

It also argues that local search apps could become more important to advertisers than mobile search from Google and Microsoft because of more relevant results and better UI (User Interface) optimisation.

According to Juniper Research’s Daniel Ashdown, “web search results, by their very nature, are more generalised, despite the local parameters search engines offer. Furthermore, the websites linked-to in search results are often not optomised for mobile devices.”

Products like Poynt, Qype and Yelp mean the search experience is mobile-optimised from end-to-end — which is crucial if the user is to be led through the whole process, to reaching a purchasing decision.

Juniper Research also reckons that Google’s domination of the mobile web search space means other players need to find ways to differentiate their products in a largely commoditized market. Augmented reality meanwhile is increasingly being deployed as an add-on feature, rather than a stand-alone product.

In other words apps like Google Goggles were just the beginning. From now on features like it will be built into apps that have a more specific focus.

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