As smartphone and tab numbers swell, search on the mobile platform is making a decisive shift from the biggies—Google, Bing and Yahoo—to apps like Yelp, as per a report by the digital market research website, eMarketer. This has meant a sharp drop in ad revenue growth for the three search engines in the mobile platform, with Google seeing as much as a 17% erosion from its 2012 figure. Given how smartphones serve up data services on the go much more conveniently than bigger portable devices, search consumption registers a healthy growth on the mobile platform—according to a Nielsen report, users spend over 34 hours on mobile internet every month compared to 27 on desptop internet.
Simultaneously, our search habits have also changed given the targeting that is offered by the many apps on our smartphones. So, while a Google can throw-up thousands of results each on almost everything, users are going to look for local businesses on Yelp, search for restaurants (in India) on Zomato while using the MagicBricks app (again, in India) to look for property rentals. The eMarketer reports points to this shift to app-based search as well—Yelp's ad revenues, analysts estimate, could grow by 136% by the end of this year over last year's figure.