Google has definitely benefited from the rise of the mobile web, especially since its Android platform is now by far the most widely used mobile operating system in the world. However, the mobile web has also shown itself to be disruptive to Google’s traditional search business mostly because it’s having trouble collecting data on what users are doing when they’re looking at mobile applications.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Google has started taking steps to address this vulnerability with a new initiative by developing “an index of the content inside mobile apps and links pointing to that content featured in Google’s search results on smartphones.” This is much easier said than done, of course, since each mobile app is its own walled garden of data and since many mobile apps run on rival platforms. Even more daunting for Google is the fact that mobile users spend an estimated 18% of their time using Facebook, which itself is trying to build up its own search capabilities to better compete with Google.
Veteran professional social network LinkedIn grew up on the desktop and is in the midst of retooling its 277 million-user strong business for a mobile-focused digital world. Today it said it’s now just nine percentage points off having its ‘mobile moment’ — aka the point when the proportion of users visiting the service via mobile devices tips into a majority.
Speaking in a session about loyalty and retention here at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona, Joff Redfern, LinkedIn’s VP of mobile product, described the process LInkedIn is going through as a metamorphosis.
Facebook announced last October that the social network’s average referral traffic to media sites increased 170% in 2013. Now, we’re seeing mobile play an even larger role for publishers’ overall traffic.More than half of Facebook’s referral traffic to media sites in January 2014 came from mobile, according to a recent report from Shareaholic. Overall, 16.2% of site referrals came from Facebook.
The chart, created by Statista, tracks the increase of Facebook referral traffic mobile and non-mobile since September 2012. The publishers in question reach 250 million unique visitors per month.