This isn't really new behavior. In fact, there once were other mobile computing devices called "laptops" which people used in similar manner to tablets. Very similar manner. They too were portable, occasionally connected through cell towers and were often "couch companions". The big difference is this: there has never been a way to distinguish between desktops and laptops. Search engines can't do it, advertising platforms can't do it, comScore, Hitwise, none of us can tell which is which. So, we've just rolled them into one thing and often referred to search patterns on them as "desktop" or "core" search. As tablets replace laptops...that's right folks tablets are replacing laptops, not desktops...it creates the impression that "mobile" is rising and "core search" is falling. In fact, mobile search (smartphones) is increasing, though that rate of growth has slowed, and I suspect tablets get more attention during couch time than laptops did by virtue of their weight and size. However, I've yet to see any compelling evidence that desktop search -- not laptop -- is declining, in fact the numbers suggest the opposite. Are vertical search engines going to be the Google killer? Will everyone just go directly to Amazon or eBay? What about the Online Travel Agencies, will they take search share from Google? Well, um, sure, but what's "new" here? Amazon and eBay have been around longer than Google. I'm pretty sure most folks online are aware of Expedia and Orbitz and... Will Facebook Graph Search be the Google killer? Unlikely. Graph Search is about finding content on Facebook. Could be huge for local businesses, restaurants, etc. Maybe a Yelp killer, but not even a Google competitor in many contexts. RKG's quarterly Digital Marketing Report will be out soon, and we'll see Google posting significant YOY gains...again. An awful lot of folks are wringing their hands about the demise of Google and "what's next?" My bet is what's next is Google posting another big year of profitable growth this year, and next year, and... Smart marketers will continue to explore new opportunities as they arise and letting data drive marketing decisions will also keep them from jumping off the deep end by pulling the plug on what works and leaping into the unknown and unproven.
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