Tim Mayer, the former head of search product and business at Yahoo, spoke in the keynote session “Future of Search: Mobile, Social, and Vertical.”
Mayer said Bing is gaining ground and Google is responding with things like Google Instant. There have been new and larger changes in search over the last 12 months.
The PC market is beginning to mature with just single digit growth. Mobile search is booming with double digit growth. New ranking features are becoming more important over time. Local is reaching a tipping point where it is starting to get huge.
“I see the 10 blue links becoming less important over time,” Mayer said.
The future of search is moving in two directions:
Traditional search will evolve quickly
New area of growth is search suggestion and tips
He sees five key trends that are transforming search.
*Mobile queries will be 20 percent of the search market by 2012.
*Growth will be in apps, not browser.
*Input difficult, there needs to be more ways to input information
*More context (use it for better targeting)
People are starting to go directly to a vertical search engine instead of using Google or Bing. Search engines have to adapt to compete in the vertical space.
With these changes there are opportunities:
“App discovery is the key to customer satisfaction in the smartphone era,” said Mayer. Match intent/queries with apps, along with a single search box.
Mobile advertising is a huge opportunity and costs are still low.
Commerce: Price comparison- offline to online
Optimize vertical entity page for search
WebProNews Anchor Abby Johnson contributed to this article.