Google AdWords management has reported that mobile searches in many of the world’s large markets have surpassed those from desktops. The ubiquity of smartphones and tablets has made that change likely for some time. For Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), the trend may not be bothersome at all. It is proof that people who use search engines will use Google wherever and however they visit the Internet. It is bad news for Google’s competitors, which hoped the consumer migration to mobile would give them a chance to improve their market shares on portable devices, from their pitiful share on traditional computers.
In a post titled “Building for the Next Moment,” Jerry Dischler, the Vice President of Product Management for AdWords, wrote:
Billions of times per day, consumers turn to Google for I want-to-know, I want-to-go, I want-to-do, and I want-to-buy moments. And at these times, consumers are increasingly picking up their smartphones for answers. In fact, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan. This presents a tremendous opportunity for marketers to reach people throughout all the new touchpoints of a consumer’s path to purchase.
The observation was based on internal Google data, which means it is accurate.
Google does face trouble as the use of its search engine moves to portable devices. CPMs, the yield that marketers pay for their ads, are often not as good as on mobile as on personal computers. So, Google’s yield on these ads may be lower than its traditional revenue.
Management indicated that mobile use has soared based on its most recent financials:
“Google’s first quarter revenue was $17.3 billion, up 12% year on year. Excluding the net impact of foreign currency headwinds, revenue grew a healthy 17% year on year,” said Patrick Pichette, CFO of Google. “We continue to see great momentum in our mobile advertising business and opportunities with brand advertisers.”
Presumably the report confirms the speed of the migration away from personal computers.
As Google’s dominance moves to portable devices, it will hold its lead as the preferred search engine. However, from a revenue point to view, the trend is a mixed blessing.