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Google adds app links to mobile search results

by Scott Bicheno on 3 June 2010, 12:27

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)

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The mobile Internet land-grab is ultimately about eyeballs - people are increasingly connecting to the Internet via their mobile devices and access to those people means access to their wallets.

Google has done a great job of exploiting its access to the world's web browsers and built a multi-billion dollar company on the back of charging other companies for the opportunity to advertise to these people every time they use Google to search for something.

But the mobile Internet paradigm is a bit different. Due to the constraints of working on a small-screen, handheld device, people are less inclined to ‘google' for stuff, and are more reliant on their favourite apps, which they access via shortcuts as best exemplified on the Apple iPhone.

This move in emphasis is the basis for the latest front in the battle between Apple and Google. Late last year they both bought mobile display advertising companies with a view to offering ads within apps. But Google's core business is selling ads against search results, as Apple CEO Steve Jobs was well aware of when he said yesterday: "People are using apps way more than they are using search."

Google today unveiled a development that is designed to address this issue: mobile app results in its mobile searches. Now, if you ‘google' a keyword that corresponds to a mobile app, a special link to that app. The fun part is the link won't just take you to the Android Market page; if there's an iPhone app it will offer a link to that page too.

As the number of mobile apps continue to proliferate, discovery - i.e. assistance in finding the kind of app you want - will become increasingly important. With this move, Google is hoping even iPhone users will use Google to find their iPhone apps. Your move Apple.


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