Gemma Birch and Immanuel Simonson shared her thoughts and insights on global search engine developments and trends for the year 2012. It’s no secret that Google holds most of the search engines market share, however we’d like to share with you here what Gemma had to say about the other players in international search and their latest key developments.
• Has taken on Google in Brazil, and is gaining more and more market share.
• The same account for China when Google pulled out of China, Baidu grew in popularity and accounts now for 76%
• Baidu has also recognized the love for social whereas SERPs now also include the integration of Weibo post (Weibo is the Chinese equivalent of Twitter with twice the followship of Twitter)
• Recently launched a landmark licensed social music service called ‘Ting’ which is growing rapidly in popularity. The service is monetized through advertising which is an excellent target option if you aim to target the Chinese population
• Baidu has realized that local is becoming more and more important therefore they have local maps, reviews and ratings for both desktop and mobile phone devices. Maps are only offered in high resolution to further improve their online mapping service.
• In relation to that a free voice navigation for Baidu map drivers has been introduced, this will without a doubt have an impact on all the other geographical navigation services which charge money for this service.
• Baidu has integrated its search function into iOS, which is now not to unlikely to become the default search engine for mobile phones, representing a huge boost for Baidu
• Baidu’s OS built on Android but with its very own apps such as maps, etc.
• Rumour has it that Baidu is currently also working on a $160 smartphone
• Which would work pretty well due to its open platform which is well-suited for mobile phones
• Has continued to expand outside of Russia whereas they have now launched in Turkey, for the first time entering a non-Russian speaking country based on integrating and understanding Turkish values including the language and the culture
• So far they have 100000 users, whereas Yandex’s aim is to account for 20% of search engine market share in Turkey
• Have recognized the popularity of social and have now introduced social and people search to connect people and feature those results in the SERPs.
• Yandex has also signed a partnership with Twitter for Russian and non-Russian results
• Last week they have launched ‘hangouts’ which is very similar to Google+, with the main focus being to connect people online
• Have taken on a crowd-sourced approach where they are using local knowledge and social for local services and results as well as to improve the quality of local maps
• They are currently in the process of developing a free voice navigation service as Baidu
• Signed a partnership with 3d to improve the user experience on Android devices which has so far proven to be pretty successful
• In relation to that they have also developed a ‘search’ app for the iPhone
• To further improve the user experience ‘Search Refiners’ have been introduced e.g: if you are searching for ‘apple’ the option fruit or company would be given.
• Russian users are perceived as skeptical when it comes to online payments, Yandex has acknowledged that and introduced a debit card, to take away skepticism and fear of online scam.
• One of the latest rumour has it that due to ‘Chrome’s’ success Yandex is currently in talks to launch ts own web browser
So what have we learned today?
Search is growing in popularity globally, there is no search without social! 2011 and 2012 can be categorized as the years of cloud-storage platforms for search engines with a far more fragmented internet consumption than ever before. As a result the focus on quality is becoming more and more important.
In the search sphere the core is constant innovation, developing services and improving user experiences. In terms of the search engines it is evident that all of them are going in the same direction focusing on key areas such as local and social. Keep a close eye on what the engines are doing as this should be the foundation and base to help you shape your strategy.
All areas are becoming increasingly inter-connected requiring a holistic approach