I read an article with interest this last week that laid out a very compelling case for the death of search engines. You can read the full article called “Is Search, As We Know It, Dying?”
The key takeaway that I have seen on my own is that the increased used of mobile devices is turning the regular world of search upside down. Consider on Google AdWords – activity in mobile means increased website traffic, more clicks, but does not translate into more conversions.
As mobile activity has increased in Google AdWords, computer activity has decreased and with it conversions, time on page, and the bounce rate has increased.
Google and Bing continue to scramble to make search meaningful for smartphone users by introducing interactive maps with ads but users are looking for other resources via apps to get the information they want.
Just consider how searches for hotels, venues, and restaurants has changed. Trip Advisor is a great example of how a mobile app is replacing traditional search for smartphone users.
Just yesterday I needed a round tablecloth, I did not search on Google, but rather started my search directly on Amazon.com.
With Google and Bing getting pressure to keep their search audience and websites like Amazon and mobile apps like Trip Advisor stepping in to provide targeted quality search results, we may be seeing the demise of traditional search engines in the next three to five years and maybe even sooner.
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