For a few years now we have collectively wondered about the future of search. The rise of smartphones, social networks, and apps have had many people predicting that search was being replaced.
Search is dead, the headlines read, as they tend to do when we sensationalize the impact of new technology and trends.
But now we have data. And although search is far from dead, it’s become clear that desktop search, the business that Google was built on, has peaked.
In fact, this article from Quartz makes it quite clear that desktop search peaked a couple of years ago and is not trending downwards.
What does this mean? Should we panic?
No one needs to panic just now. Search as a whole is still growing, thanks to mobile.
If you’re a company that relies on search to generate new business, it is important to recognize that most of your growth from this channel in coming years will be from mobile, not desktop. Your ads and landing pages should be adjusted accordingly.
For Google it will mean even more focus on mobile as a source of traffic and revenue. They can’t make people search on desktops, nor should they want to.
Instead of trying to squeeze the juice out of a shrinking business, they’ll be smart enough to shift and show us what comes next, as far as search goes.
There will continue to be billions of desktop searches every year for quite some time. So desktop search is not dead, but it is now fair to say that it’s in decline.