Mobile search and discovery worth USD15bn by 2017

A new report from analyst firm Juniper Research forecasts that revenue from mobile search and discovery will reach USD15 billion by 2017, nearly three times the revenue it expects to be generated by these markets in 2012, with ad space in these markets representing prime real estate for advertisers.

The report found that clickthrough and cost-per-click rates for search and discovery, including web search, local search, augmented reality search and discovery apps, are some of the highest in mobile advertising due to the fact that users are in the market for a discrete group of products or services, and can therefore be accurately targeted by advertisers.

Leading search engine providers, including Google and Microsoft, say a large percentage of web searches on mobile are localised, but the report highlights that local search apps arguably represent a greater opportunity for advertisers because of more relevant results and better UI (User Interface) optimisation.

According to report author 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 optimised for mobile devices.”

Juniper’s report notes that with local search apps like Poynt, Qype and Yelp, 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.

The report also notes that Google’s domination of the mobile web search space means other players need to find ways to differentiate their products in a largely commoditised market.

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