Google released a new study (video below) this past week about how much people are using their mobile devices. They probably could have gotten more legs on the press release if they had done it around Valentine’s Day since they said that a majority of people would rather give up chocolate rather than use of their phone. Obviously they want to encourage people to use mobile search so they can sell mobile ads, see previous post. One of the interesting things I didn’t talk about last time was that they specifically mentioned local data as a primary function for these mobile searches.
In the past Google has been really good at web search but have kinda failed at local. So how are they looking to improve? A while back they made a move to help encourage good data and get business engaged on the Place pages. Google tested two versions of Place page ads, Tags & Boost and in the end Boost won. The implications are interesting because one has to assume that the user engagement on Boost was higher than the Tags since they serve the same advertising goals.
Boost also has the side value of being slightly harder to game in my opinion as well as improving the data rather than just being another ad. If I had to chose between equal revenue streams and one was easier to monitor and gave me better data that seems like an easy win to me. Google is enabling all kinds of ways to sell ads but it is important to remember that one of their goals is to “organize the world’s information” as well. If they happen to be able to make a few bucks off it along the way I am sure that no shareholder will complain.
As candy here is their nifty info graphic.