Tim Mayer Keynote at 2010 Vegas #Pubcon
Today is the final day at Pubcon Vegas. We’re starting off with Tim Mayer. For those of you who don’t know Tim, he was a director of Product Manager in 2000. He then became the VP of Overture and then a VP of Search at Yahoo! for seven years.
He and Brett Tabke (Pubcon owner) go back a long time. He is currently advising several startups including some in the mobile and online TV space.
He’s talking about the Future of Search: Mobile, Social, & Vertical.
Here are some interesting trends he is noting.
PC growth in growth is slowing down to single digit growth.
Mobile search growth is exploding.
Brands are becoming more important on the web. Consumers want to connect with their favorites.
Different types of inputs will become common. People don’t just use a keyboard to type into a box.
He feels the search engines of the future will use the information it knows about you to recommend choices for dining, entertainment, etc. He feels that transactions will happen on the web on the search engine while interacting with best of breed sites such as OpenTable, Fandango, etc.
Five Key Trends for Transforming Search
1. Mobile queries (20% by 2012)
They fall under three categories
3. Product Lookup
(These queries will become longer and more natural language than typical PC-based queries.)
2. Growth in Apps, not browsers
Apps are taking more and more time of users. HTML5 will similarly change the landscape of the web.
3. Input is difficult
4. More Context is happening
The sites are determining your preferences, the sites you visit, the friends you have, etc. They will use this data to make your web experience more relevant.
5. Verticalizing of SERP
Massive growth is happening in best of breed sites such as Ebay, Amazon, Youtube, etc. People are associating the brand with the activities. They do not start at Bing, Google, etc. They go straight to the site of their choice and search there.
The search engines will need to make a more compelling reason to start there to keep their audience. That is why Vertical-izing and Universal search is seeing such growth at Google and Bing. They want people to start at their site.
WHERE ARE THE FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES?
For technology providers…
App discovery. This is the key to customer satisfaction in the smart phone era. Right now it is difficult to find good apps. Determining which apps are better than others is tricky. This is a hard problem to solve. There will be a lot of growth in this area.
Matching Intent / Queries with Apps. It is difficult to not only find the right app, but to keep them separate. (People did not like tabbed search.) They don’t want to go through a two-step process. There is opportunity for technology providers to make a single search box to find the best app (and mobile website) for specific intents. Google has been doing this for web on the PC for years. This does not exist well on mobile yet.
If the past is search, the future is prediction and suggestion.
Location, social, and other data should be used to know what the user wants before he even asks or to refine his requests.
Mobile advertising. The rates are still very low. Most have not figured out how to use the mobile inventory and to make it work. There is huge opportunity in this area for those that learn it well.
First mover app in category on a new platform. Whoever comes out with specific apps for specific categories first will win the game. It’s wide open in many categories.
Commerce: Price comparison – offine to online. This is similar to the affiliates of the years ago. Price comparison apps have not been fully developed. People want this.
Optimize Vertical entity pages for search. Create videos, products, local, etc. Being strong in these areas is the future.
NOTE: With the changes in the industry, Tim expects more change in the next two years than we have seen in the last 6 to 8 years. We’re going to see online tv, more growth in mobile, etc. The ten blue links are becoming less and less important.