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Greg Sterling – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Thu, 20 Jun 2019 17:13:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 Google My Business adds more branding tools, introduces searchable @shortnames /google-my-business-adds-more-branding-tools-introduces-searchable-shortnames-318527 Thu, 20 Jun 2019 16:01:50 +0000 /?p=318527 The top 5% of local businesses in each category will also be eligible for a new "Local Favorite" badge.

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Google My Business launched in 2014 and has become increasingly important to both merchants and consumers. Having a verified, accurate and complete GMB profile can’t be overemphasized from an SEO perspective. In addition, GMB is evolving into a platform for transactions and engagement between businesses and their customers.

At a pre-announcement event yesterday in San Francisco, Google shared some GMB “momentum” data, including the fact that Google enables, “three billion direct connections between merchants and users per month.” The company also said that there are three million bookings monthly through Google. And there are now 95 million people, globally, participating in the local guides program.

New GMB cover photo

New branding and promotional tools. The announcements being made today include a number of new GMB features designed to encourage more local businesses to claim GMB profiles and give those that have more branding and promotional tools.

Google didn’t disclose what percentage of U.S. businesses have verified their GMB profiles. However, a 2019 report from BrandMuscle found that roughly 61% of local businesses surveyed had claimed their GMB listings. Assuming that’s accurate, the flip side is: 39% have not.

The new GMB capabilities and features announced today include:

  • Add a logo — businesses will be able to display their logo on the upper right of the profile
  • Cover photo — businesses will be able to choose the photo users will see when they bring up the profile
  • Dynamic photo module — a prominent new carousel/slide show module is being introduced with the ability to add captions soon
  • Welcome offers — these can be sent to customers/prospects who follow a business
  • Promotional assets — Google is launching a new site to create and order stickers, posters and other promotional assets

Local favorites and short URLs. All these new features are intended to help businesses brand and more effectively promote themselves on GMB and beyond. However, there are two additional announcements that could ultimately prove to be much more significant: “Local Favorite” badges and short names/URLs, which will be searchable on Google and in Maps.

Google said that the top 5% of local businesses in a category will be awarded a “Local Favorite” badge. Google was vague about what criteria will be used to determine who qualifies. The company generally said that it would reward businesses that kept their profiles updated and were responsive to their customers. Beyond these statements, Google wouldn’t comment.

Local Favorite status and badging could be a significant competitive advantage for the “winners” — or not. It will depend on how and where the badge is presented and whether consumers respond.

New GMB elements

Short names require GMB verification. Short names will take two forms: g.page/shortname and @shortname. Businesses will be able to register their desired name “over the next couple of days.” The company says there won’t be any “domain squatting” (my phrase) because a verified GMB profile is required to obtain one.

When a consumer searches or inputs the URL, it will lead directly to the merchant’s GMB profile. In the near future, users will be able to search Google Maps for @shortname and bring up the profile as well.

Google explained this will be “a global namespace,” so the Bon Vivant cafe in Los Angeles could be competing against a similarly named restaurant in Paris or Vietnam for @bonvivant. However, Google projected confidence, without going into detail, that it has a process to address these issues and prevent such conflicts. (We’ll see.)

Google explained that short names came out of merchant feedback and the desire for a simple URL to promote their businesses. Google envisions local businesses putting the URL g.page/shortname on promotional materials. There was no discussion of use in digital advertising, but that would be another potential application. It’s also not clear whether there will be any reporting on traffic to these short URLs/names.

Why we should care. GMB has evolved from a way to get accurate data into Google search results into something much more complex and powerful. Google now thinks of GMB as a local “engagement platform,” which increasingly enables transactions (e.g., Reserve with Google). In April, Google surveyed some of its small business customers and agency partners about charging for GMB services. That drew a mixed response from local SEOs, but also suggested future product direction potentially.

We’re likely to see more direct communication tools and additional commerce capabilities come to GMB in the future. The challenge for Google is adding useful features without creating additional confusion and complexity for local businesses.

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Why search needs to be combined with awareness for maximum impact /why-search-needs-to-be-combined-with-awareness-for-maximum-impact-318355 Tue, 18 Jun 2019 18:26:35 +0000 /?p=318355 TV and display will drive better performing search queries, which in turn can indicate the effectiveness of those channels themselves.

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No marketer today should be relying on a single channel to drive conversions. That’s obvious; what’s less obvious is figuring out what’s actually driving conversions. The market is awash in data but many marketers are no closer to a precise understanding of ROI than at any time in the past.

As the consumer journey becomes ever more circuitous and complex, marketers need to think and act holistically in their media planning and ROI/ROAS analysis. How are the multiple channels in a campaign interacting but how might they also reflect the influence of other ad exposures in the path to online or offline transactions?

Branded queries reflect other media influence

Search is a great example. It’s both a staring point for research at the top of the funnel but can also function as a tool reflecting the impact of other media on brand or product awareness. This is especially true in the case of branded or product-specific queries, a point that Yahoo actually made in 2005 before the launch of Google Trends.

Specifically, Yahoo argued back then that search can help measure the effectiveness of TV and online display campaigns. Marketers have also been including some version of “Google XYZ” as a call-to-action in TV ads, out-of-home and other media, off and on for years.

Source: Episerver B2C Dot-Com Report

Digiday now reports that direct-to-consumer brands are increasingly looking to search traffic to evaluate the performance of their TV campaigns. Although this isn’t novel, it’s smart to combine these channels: TV to develop awareness and prompt branded queries for lower-cost and more efficient traffic acquisition and, potentially, conversions. Search queries and volumes then reveal the efficacy of the TV campaigns.

What’s behind ‘direct traffic?’

According to Episerver’s new B2C Dot-Com Report, based on 1.3 billion shopping sessions “across 159 unique retail and consumer brand websites,” 48% of website visits come from direct traffic (“a person who types in the retailer’s website directly into their browser”). Direct traffic is one of the most efficient and highest converting channels. But what’s behind it?

Direct traffic is often, if not mostly, a function of some other stimulus or awareness mechanism. Indeed, Episerver asserts that direct traffic is “the culmination of a brand’s marketing efforts” as much as the result of any single channel or campaign.

Search, both organic and paid, is the next most common traffic referrer and accounts for a 37% share according to Episerver. The report doesn’t break down branded vs. non-branded keywords. I suspect, however, that a meaningful percentage of search-referral traffic identified in the report is ultimately branded.

Source: Episerver B2C Dot-Com Report

Episerver says that, overall, “paid and organic search are the highest performing traffic sources,” taking a variety of factors into consideration. Episercer advises that “retailers and brands should ensure they’re seeing similar strength in paid and organic search traffic and if not, optimize accordingly.” Beyond paid and SEO best practices, “optimizing” search traffic may require driving awareness through other channels such as display, social and video.

Marketers need to understand ‘the big picture’

Chamber.Media’s Bryant Garvin, during an SMX Advanced presentation on ROAS and attribution this month, discussed the need to step back and look at the full customer journey to understand the role of multiple channels in driving conversions. He argued that marketers should look at — and question — the data, not just rely on Google analytics or Facebook pixel data. Often these tools are going to be “too myopic,” he argued.

Data from any single channel may mislead or tell only part of the story. Marketers need to look at the “big picture,” he said.

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Marketers spending 43% of budgets on Google, Facebook, Amazon, want ‘alternatives’ /marketers-spending-43-of-budgets-on-google-facebook-amazon-want-alternatives-318156 Thu, 13 Jun 2019 18:54:29 +0000 /?p=318156 It seems to be true even among brands and agencies that say the three outperform other platforms.

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As part of a report on the use of location data by brands and agencies, Lawless Research and Factual investigated marketers’ attitudes toward “The advertising oligopoly of Google, Facebook and Amazon.” The survey found that these respondents (700) were spending on average 43% of their ad budgets on the three platforms; 65% of them say they want “alternatives.”

Amazon is now the third largest digital ad platform in the U.S. and many agencies plan to increase their Amazon spending. Despite this growth, most of their ad budgets are still going to Google and Facebook.

Source: Lawless Research and Factual

Bigger budget, greater spend share going to top platforms. It turns out, the larger the ad budget the larger the chunk being spent on the major platforms. For companies with an annual budget of $50 million or more, 46% are spending at least 60% of their budgets with “The Oligopoly.”

Source: Lawless Research and Factual

The survey then asked, “Is your ROI on Facebook, Amazon and Google, lower, about the same, or higher than on other platforms?” Just under half (49%) said higher, 44% said about the same and 7% said lower. It’s not clear how reliable these estimates are, however.

Seeking alternatives. Roughly 65% of respondents said they were seeking advertising alternatives to Google, Facebook and Amazon. Presumably they are aware of programmatic or direct alternatives, though they reportedly said, YouTube (Google), Instagram (Facebook), and Twitch (Amazon), when asked to identify the alternatives they were considering.

The report goes on to state that “nearly two-thirds (66%) of brand marketers and agencies are extremely, very or moderately concerned about the oligopoly limiting their advertising options.” For those in the more-concerned category, there’s greater emphasis on alternatives, which makes sense. Among the 34% either “very or extremely concerned,” 78% are seeking alternatives.

Source: Lawless Research and Factual

Why we should care. The report treats the three platforms as a kind of unity, which is problematic on several levels. Their policies, ad options and performance are not uniform. Indeed, Amazon is an “alternative” to Google and Facebook. Interestingly, however, the report says that even for respondents who say “The Oligopoly” outperforms other platforms, 67% still want other options “to improve advertising outcomes.”

At a time when antitrust investigations are gearing up against all three companies, the findings in this report could make their way into DOJ or FTC files. Yet, it’s not really clear how serious these findings are or the depth of marketer discontent. More research needs to be done.

It’s possible what’s being exposed or vindicated is the principle of competition; marketers like the idea of more choices. It’s also possible that these respondents are voicing specific objections and concerns about the three.

This story first appeared on Marketing Land. For more on digital marketing, click here.

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Is voice over-hyped? A new survey suggests lower adoption than previously thought /is-voice-over-hyped-a-new-survey-suggests-lower-adoption-than-previously-thought-318170 Thu, 13 Jun 2019 18:07:34 +0000 /?p=318170 iPhones dominate usage, despite aggressive promotion of the Google Assistant.

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A popular Bill Gates quotation reads, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” That’s often invoked to suggest new technologies don’t change things as quickly as expected but will have a longer-term impact. Such is the case with voice and virtual assistants.

A decade ago we used to say “search is the universal interface.” Slowly, voice is supplanting it — emphasis on the word slowly. Despite the hype around voice and virtual assistants, which I have contributed to, adoption is seemingly not happening as quickly as expected. A new report from SUMO Heavy underscores this idea.

About 30% are active users. The survey of just over 1,000 U.S. adults found that nearly half (46%) of respondents never use virtual assistants, emphasis on “never.” Another group (19%) use virtual assistants “rarely” (less than monthly). These are effectively non-users. Together these two groups represent 65% of the audience, while 29% (daily and weekly) is the active user base.

Source: SUMO Heavy, n=1,046 (4/19)

An earlier consumer survey from Uberall (April, 2019) discovered that 52% of respondents “never” use voice search. This is consistent with the SUMO Heavy findings.

Majority of usage happening on smartphones. It comes as no surprise that the bulk of voice usage is happening on smartphones, which have the most distribution of the various devices that feature virtual assistants. It’s interesting to note, in the graphic below, that there’s a fair amount of usage on the desktop (15%), which may be Cortana on Windows PCs, as well as in-car systems (11%).

Because virtual assistants are the defining feature of smart speakers, the 18% usage figure below is equivalent to device ownership. This would suggest a significantly lower smart speaker penetration rate (~46 million) in the U.S. than other surveys.

Device of choice for virtual assistant usage

Source: SUMO Heavy, n=1,046 (4/19)

iPhones outpacing Android. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the survey is the operating system data. Google has been promoting Google Assistant very heavily for both smartphones and its smart speakers and displays with national media campaigns. However the SUMO Heavy findings show much more usage of virtual assistants on iPhones.

Overall there are more active users on iOS than Android (44% vs. 28%) and there are many more “rarely” and “never” respondents on Android (72%). This may be a result of Android vs. iPhone demographics and the fact that there are a lot of low-end Android phones in market. But it’s still very surprising.

Source: SUMO Heavy, n=1,046 (4/19)

Finally the survey explored voice shopping with virtual assistants. It found that 17% had “browsed or shopped products using a voice-activated assistant.” However, among the weekly or daily users, 42% said that they had shopped using a virtual assistant. This supports the notion that there’s very little “v-commerce” happening yet.

Why we should care. This is just one survey; however it argues that we temper our voice-search mania. Voice and virtual assistants as a kind of “universal UI” are here to stay. These are important technologies that are changing and will continue to change the way that people interact with devices. However, it’s not happening as quickly as many had anticipated — half the audience is composed of non-users. The other half is using these technologies but not uniformly.

If we accept the SUMO Heavy findings, a little less than a third of the installed base are active users of voice and virtual-assistants (daily or weekly). This doesn’t mean that marketers should ignore voice or not optimize content for voice discovery. There are still millions of queries coming through on smartphones and smart speakers and that will continue to grow — over time.

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Google brings the Assistant to Waze /google-brings-the-assistant-into-waze-317986 Mon, 10 Jun 2019 14:57:22 +0000 /?p=317986 Part of Google's Assistant everywhere strategy, Waze users will be able to 'avoid tolls' and 'report police' without touching the screen.

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Google Assistant has already come to Google Maps. Now it’s coming to Waze for Android in the U.S. in English.

Hands-free rerouting. Voice commands were already available in Waze for navigation. But Google Assistant will now enable users to do a number of other things while driving, such as make calls, play music and initiate Waze commands hands free. Wazers will also be able to do reporting and requests without touching the screen: report traffic, avoid tolls, report police, access alternative routing and so on.

Likely coming to the iPhone. The Google Assistant will likely come to the iPhone version of Waze at some point in the near future. Currently, Siri can be used to initiate a trip on Waze but it doesn’t allow for internal commands once in the app, as Google Assistant now can.

Google acquired Waze in 2013 and has slowly been integrating Waze and Google Maps, bringing some of Waze’s most popular features into Google Maps. Maps is one of several Google products that claim over a billion users. Waze’s usage is much smaller but more engaged and loyal.

Google needs to be careful to maintain Waze’s unique character as it does these reciprocal integrations. In some respects, Waze is like a beloved boutique hotel to Google Maps’ Hilton or Marriott.

Why we should care. Waze has managed to successfully introduce ads for SMBs and enterprises into the app without alienating users. It has been much more creative and experimental than Google Maps on the ads front and done some innovate things, such as coordinating with out-of-home campaigns.

Google will likely continue to use Waze as a kind of ads sandbox and testing ground before importing them into the flagship product, as the company seeks to drive more revenue from more Google products.

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Apple Maps refresh: Better data, more detail and a new ‘street view’ /apple-maps-refresh-better-data-more-detail-and-a-new-street-view-317791 Tue, 04 Jun 2019 16:12:47 +0000 /?p=317791 New basemap data and 3D imagery power new 'Look Around' feature.

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Several of the updates in iOS 13, announced yesterday, are playing catch-up to Google. Among them, Apple is adding a Street-View-like feature to Apple Maps.

Apple “Street View”: Look Around. Users will soon be able to pick a map location and launch a 360-degree photographic view of the immediate area. Apple is calling it “Look Around.”

Powering Look Around is a rebuilt basemap “from the ground up.” Apple says this is the result of 4 million miles of new data, which will deliver “broader road coverage, better pedestrian data, more precise addresses and more detailed landcover.”

Range of additional features. Other new iOS 13 maps features include, “Collections to easily share favorite restaurants, travel destinations or places to shop with friends, and Favorites for navigating to frequent destinations, such as home, work, the gym or school, with a simple tap from the launch screen.”

Some of these are rolling out now. Look Around will show up in iOS 13 later this fall in the U.S. and unspecified other countries.

Will it matter? There’s little concrete data Apple has exposed about Maps’ usage and engagement. Clearly, Apple Maps and navigation have many millions of users. But it’s also clear that the combination of Google Maps and Google-owned Waze dominate smartphone maps mindshare. At the margins, Apple Maps improvements may win back some number of users.

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Reports: Google, Amazon to face new antitrust inquiries in changed political climate /reports-google-amazon-to-face-new-antitrust-inquiries-in-changed-political-climate-317707 Sun, 02 Jun 2019 23:52:04 +0000 /?p=317707 Reportedly the DOJ will investigate Google and the FTC will take on Amazon.

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After almost two years of investigation and intense lobbying, the FTC closed its antitrust investigation of Google in January 2013. Google made some concessions but escaped significant penalties, with FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz declaring at the time, “The law protects competition not competitors.”

DOJ and FTC divvy up Google, Amazon. But almost from the moment of that decision, critics have been calling for round two. Now, according to multiple reports, the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) and FTC have come to an agreement to divide up potential new antitrust inquiries involving Google and Amazon, with the DOJ taking Google and the FTC taking Amazon.

According to the NY Times, the broad and vague areas of inquiry are Google’s “advertising and search practices.” These are probably the same issues and questions the Europeans have been focused on for the past six years. The FTC, which had formed a task force to “monitor competition in U.S. technology market,” is now referring all Google-related antitrust questions and matters to the DOJ, according to multiple reports.

Amazon’s impact on retail economy. The potential inquiry into Amazon is even more vague but will reportedly look at whether Amazon’s business practices are adversely impacting competition and whether it wields too much power in the online retail economy. Recently, Bloomberg reported that Amazon was “purging” SMB suppliers on the platform. While Amazon denied the charge this is the sort of thing that would be relevant to an antitrust investigation.

It’s far from clear that any concrete action will come from either of these investigations, assuming they go forward. But it’s clear the political climate is now more supportive of these antitrust moves in a way it hasn’t been in the past.

Changed political environment. Both Republicans and Democrats now have complaints against these companies (and Facebook), though their specific issues and motivations differ. Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has even made breaking up big tech companies part of her campaign platform. The steady drumbeat of fines and penalties from Europe is also having an impact on U.S. regulators.

Finally, the 2016 election and subsequent data and privacy scandals negatively affected public perceptions of Facebook and Google but also the tech sector overall. To many, these companies now appear less like innovative job creators than pernicious influences on society.

Why you should care. It’s important to emphasize that these stories are speculative, though they wouldn’t exist without some basis in fact. Any potential impact is likely years away if at all. So the prospect of any major changes in the way Amazon or Google do business is remote.

Having said that, “structural” changes to Amazon or Google’s business practices could potentially result if the government were to aggressively pursue these investigations with the goal of shaking up competition and the balance of power. Even then, the U.S. would have to prevail in court. But these new regulatory stirrings are partly driven by tectonic shifts, since 2013, in public and Congressional attitudes toward regulating big tech companies.

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Google moves hotel pricing chart into the SERP /google-moves-hotel-pricing-chart-into-the-serp-317466 Fri, 24 May 2019 21:50:12 +0000 /?p=317466 By improving the consumer travel-search experience Google is also going after a larger share of travel-ad spending.

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Google is starting to show hotel price charts in search results. These graphs have been a popular feature of Google travel properties and were tested in search last year.

Price graph moves into search. Here’s a SERP for the query New York Marriott Marquis that includes the price chart:

Searchers can use arrows to move forward and back in order to see historical pricing trends for particular hotel properties.

Asked to comment, a Google spokesperson told us, “Our research has shown that travelers are looking primarily for price and availability information when searching for a hotel. To make our hotel search experience more useful for travelers and better connect them with travel providers, we are surfacing more price and availability information on the search results page.”

The original tip came from Damian Rollison of Brandify.

Why you should care. Google has been upgrading its various travel properties at an accelerating pace. At Google Marketing Live two weeks ago the company announced a consolidated travel planning tool called Trips. Earlier, in March, Google introduced a new Hotel search and booking site which includes vacation rentals. And late last year, a new look for the Hotel Local Pack rolled out.

Travel is a critical vertical, worth hundreds of billions of dollars annually in consumer and business travel spending, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Digital ad spending by travel brands is expected to exceed $9 billion in 2019. Google’s travel property upgrades and enhanced search results are part a bid for more of those ad dollars, as the company captures an increasing share of consumer traffic and conversions.

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Google brings ‘end-to-end’ food ordering to Search, Maps, Google Assistant /google-brings-end-to-end-food-ordering-to-search-maps-google-assistant-317381 Thu, 23 May 2019 18:09:25 +0000 /?p=317381 This is part of a larger effort to own consumer transactions and help users "get things done" on Google.

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Google’s unofficial new mantra is “helping users get things done” (GTD). To that end, Google is making its many channels, properties and ads much more “transactional.” Transaction fees are part of Google’s strategy to monetize the Assistant.

Multiple food delivery partners. One manifestation of this GTD ethos is bringing food ordering into Google Assistant, Google search and Maps. Announced Thursday, delivery comes from DoorDash, Postmates, Delivery.com, Slice, ChowNow and Zuppler. Other partners are reportedly coming soon.

For some time Google has linked to third party ordering and delivery services in the Knowledge Panel online. This experience proceeds directly from the GMB profile on both Android devices and iPhones. (Below is an illustration of the flow.)

Google now owns the transaction. Users click on the “Order Online” button and then choose delivery or pick up. If they choose delivery, they select a provider and then menu items. Payment happens with the default credit card the user has set up in Google Pay. Presumably, if users don’t have a credit card on file, they’ll be prompted to add one.

If reordering, users will have the option to select the previous order using the same delivery vendor.

Google Assistant can also initiate a food order or reorder — although it’s not (yet) available on smart speakers and displays. Users invoke food ordering with the phrase, “Hey Google, order food from [restaurant].” If it’s a reorder, the Assistant will access past orders and display them for approval.

Earlier this week Google announced a redesigned mobile search UI, with the option of branded favicons for organic results and a new label for text ads. Last week at Google Marketing Live, the company made a wide range of ads announcements and introduced a new Google Shopping destination to compete more directly with Amazon. In that new shopping experience, users have the option to transaction via the Google-owned checkout.

Why we should care. From a user-experience perspective, the new food-ordering process is an incremental change from what was already available. It’s analogous to changes happening with Google Travel. And the move is part of a larger effort by Google to reduce consumer friction, remove steps between discovery and purchase and control more transactions directly, rather than handing them off to (slower) third parties.

This will increasingly mean partnering with and integrating into Google consumer experiences, rather than relying on organic SEO to acquire customers.

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The mobile, desktop split may have stabilized at roughly 60% – 40% /mobile-desktop-search-traffic-split-may-have-stabilized-at-roughly-60-40-317091 Thu, 16 May 2019 18:08:57 +0000 /?p=317091 Hitwise found an average of 58.5% of searches were mobile, largely unchanged from two years ago.

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According to the IAB’s annual Internet Advertising Revenue report, released last week, the split between mobile and desktop revenue was roughly 65% to 35% in favor of mobile. Ad spending on the desktop is flat, while mobile (and video) are driving significant growth.

Note: This story has been corrected below after an error was detected by Hitwise and the data updated.

Mobile volumes, ad-revenue breakdown directionally aligned

Whether a coincidence or a rational response to analytics, the revenue split corresponds roughly to the distribution of (search) traffic according to new data from Hitwise. At its core, mobile ad revenue growth has been driven by three factors: direction and product emphasis from Google and Facebook, as well as consumer adoption of mobile as a primary search and shopping tool.

Google has said for multiple quarters that its growth is coming from mobile search and YouTube. According to the IAB report, mobile ad spending grew 40% year over year, while desktop spending is flat or down. Combined PC and mobile search accounted for 45% of total ad spending, while search was 43% of total mobile ad revenue.

Mobile search volumes stable

In 2015, Google announced that mobile search had crossed the 50% threshold in multiple countries. The company hasn’t updated that number. In fact, it reiterated the figure at Google Marketing Live this past week.

In 2016, Hitwise released data that suggested mobile search (including tablets) in the U.S. had reached roughly 58 percent of overall search queries. That was based on a comparison of search volume in 11 key categories. I asked Hitwise to update that analysis this month.

Across ten verticals, Hitwise found an average of 58.5% of searches happened on mobile devices. (The original data provided by Hitwise indicated mobile search share was 61.3% on average.) In the aggregate, mobile’s share of search is effectively unchanged from two years ago. And several verticals have seen a decline in mobile search share.

Food was the highest volume category with 68% mobile queries, down from 72% in 2016. Retail saw the lowest percentage of mobile queries (47%), which was down from 56% in 2016. Automotive was 62% mobile in 2016 and 65% in 2019. Other categories were also flat or down.

Is a mobile-SEM slowdown ahead?

While mobile traffic volumes have grown, mobile search volumes appear unchanged overall in the past two years. This suggests some sort of general homeostasis may now exist. Mobile search ad spending was roughly 62% of the total search spend, again corresponding to the query and traffic split between desktop and mobile.

All this says nothing about overall media engagement or time spent, which is dominated by a small number of mobile apps and may continue to drive growth. But it does suggest that mobile search spending could slow in the coming quarters.

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