When it comes to traditional search, there’s really no one that can top Google’s dominance in the space. Mobile search, however, is still fair game to anyone who makes the right moves.
Google is making huge strides to extend its reach into the mobile space, but it may be too little too soon. What began as Google’s mass-market breakthrough into mobile search — being the default search engine on the iPhone — is coming to an end, and signaling a new kind of competition that Google isn’t used to.
It’s speculated that Apple will tap Bing to become the default search provider for the iPhone, iPod Touch and most likely the iPad as well. With Google losing its stronghold on arguably the most sought-after mobile devices on the market, it sends a clear message that mobile search is still anyone’s game.
Apple’s partnership with Microsoft to provide Bing-enabled search on its devices will undoubtedly show the world that Bing means business- and for good reason. Microsoft has done an exceptional job so far in developing their search engine, and in many cases, providing features that Google doesn’t offer. Becoming the de-facto search engine on devices that everyone wants, puts Microsoft in the driver’s seat for the first time in ages. Whether they’ll build on this momentum is the question that remains to be answered.
Focusing on mobile search, and doing it right, will be the hurdle Microsoft has to overcome to continue its insurgence into the market. Strengthening Windows Mobile, which is a tall order in the new-age mobile landscape ushered in by Apple, will be another step Microsoft needs to focus on to keep its momentum strong. Forging partnerships with other device and OS makers to continue to put Bing in front of users is another step forward Microsoft will have to make.
While everyone thought that Google was determined to become dominant in mobile search, Bing came from behind and seems stronger in many regards than Google to become a dominant player. While it’s still anyone’s game, it will sure be fun to watch the inevitable war between the top players.