For evidence of mobile’s rampant growth and increasingly widespread use, look no further than the explosion in mobile search traffic over the last twenty-four month period. Google alone reports a five-fold increase in mobile search traffic. And according to Vic Gundotra, Google’s VP of engineering for mobile applications, Google has ”bet big on mobile.” From the looks of it, however, the gamble is paying off – for Google, mobile users, and mobile savvy advertisers.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt maintains that Google is now a ”mobile first” company. For Schmidt, along with other mobile conscious corporate heads and the overwhelming majority of web and app developers, the mobile search community is now far too large and relevant to bump to the back-burner. Google, for example, acutely aware of the 25% of Android and iPhone users who spend upwards of two hours per day engrossed in mobile apps, is poised to delve deeper into the new ad solutions warranted by the unbridled acceleration in mobile search and application use.
According to Gundotra, Google is presently exploring app-based mobile advertising opportunities, noting that the company is now working with the likes of Urbanspoon and Shazam to explore the potential of in-app ad solutions.
Although The wall Street Journal recently quoted another Google executive saying that ”desktops will be irrelevant in three years,” Google is by no means abandoning the business of desktop searches. Instead, Google is simply opting to make mobile the priority. But the search engine giant will likely find itself in an increasingly crowded space. Google, after all, is arriving at a party already attended by a wealth of mobile marketers aware that the party wouldn’t really get started until the big boys showed up.