Mobile has won, social media isn’t going away and big data will have big impacts on businesses; these are just some of Google’s executive vice chairman Eric Schmidt‘s thoughts on 2014. During an interview with Bloomberg, Schmidt said that by the end of 2014, everyone will have a smartphone.
“The trend has been that mobile was winning. It’s now won,” he said in the interview. “There are more tablets and phones being sold than personal computers. People are moving to this new architecture very fast.” For that reason, he believes we will see a “new generation of applications” emerge to fill changing needs for entertainment, social networking and more.
Mobile’s Gains: 2013 and Beyond
Forrester Research, Inc.’s research backs up Schmidt’s prediction. It estimates that the mobile paid search market will reach $3.8 billion by the end of 2013, and continue to grow throughout 2014. It predicts that 86 percent of mobile phone owners in the U.S. will be carrying smartphones by 2017. By 2015, it is projected that mobile internet usage will finally top its desktop counterparts, and that mobile-commerce sales will reach a staggering 31 billion dollars annually.
As the mobile market continues to grow in 2014, so will the importance of a mobile SEO strategy. Mobile use is already huge:
- 91 percent of American adults own a mobile phone
- 56 percent of American adults own a smartphone
- 63 percent of mobile phone owners use their phones to access the Internet
- Amazon, Wikipedia, and Facebook all see about 20 percent mobile traffic
- 77 percent of mobile searches take place at home or at work
Mobile optimization is a must for any business looking to take advantage of the growing number of potential customers searching and buying on smartphones and other mobile devices. Eric Schmidt’s prediction is yet another reason marketers need to look toward mobile as a primary source for customers and digital conversions in 2014.
Google’s Biggest Regret
Google is not known for being left behind on trends, but Schmidt admits there was one thing he didn’t see coming: the rise of social media.
“At Google, the biggest mistake I made was not anticipating the rise of the social networking phenomenon,” Schmidt said. “Not a mistake we’re going to make again. I guess in our defense we were busy working on many other things, but we should have been in that area and I take responsibility for that.”
Today, Google+ lags behind Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest when it comes to users, but with the advent of Google Authorship, indexing all Google+ pages for search results and increasing the influence of social shares, Google is making its mark in the realm of social media.
Businesses looking for an edge should follow Google’s lead. Nearly 46 percent of consumers count on social media when making a purchase decision. 74 percent of all marketers say Facebook is important to their lead generation strategies. Plus, companies that generate more than 1,000 Facebook likes also receive around 1,400 website visits daily. In 2013, approximately 36 percent of marketers found a customer on Twitter. That number shouldn’t surprise you—in fact; it’s likely to be larger next year. Currently driving roughly 25 percent of all retail referral traffic, Pinterest users are 10 percent more likely to make a purchase than users referred from other social networks.
Eric Schmidt says social media and mobile are already here, but what’s the next big thing? Google is investing heavily in wearable technology, specifically the Google Glass.
Other companies are doing it as well with smart watches like the Galaxy Gear, rings that collect and compile data and even clothes that track your sleep and workouts. Wearable technology could have a massive impact on how customers can find businesses and be targeted with ads.
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