Roulston Research Search and Social Media Conference Call with Former Yahoo and Double Click Executives

iphone mobile revenue search resultsOn August 16th, Roulston Research held a Search and Social Media conference call to discuss trends in the industry and answer various questions from the attending investors. Larry Cornett of Brilliant Forge (VP of Consumer Products for Yahoo! Search in a former life) was one of the presenters, and Jeff Marcus was the other. He is currently the Principal at Sparkway, Former President of Global Networks at DoubleClick, Former CTO at 24/7 Real Media, and Former VP of Operations, Mirror Image. Here is the podcast of that call.

Highlights:

  • We all know that everything is moving to Mobile.
    • World-wide shipments of laptops and desktops fell 14% in the first quarter from a year earlier. (source)
  • But, revenue isn’t shifting to Mobile as quickly as engagement.
    • For example, 7 in 10 smartphone and tablet owners have tried to make purchases on their device, but 2/3 abandoned a purchase due to a problem with the checkout experience. (source)
  • Social media services have definitely led the way with engagement on Mobile, and some are seeing a significant shift in revenue.
    • Mobile now represents more than 40% of all Facebook’s ad revenue for the most recent quarter (source).
  • Ad revenue, in particular, is challenging on Mobile.
    • For example, an ad served up from a mobile search can cost 40% less than one coming from a desktop PC. Recently, Google reported that their CPC fell 6%, and some blame mobile. (source)
  • In emerging markets, consumers are forgoing laptops and PCs entirely in favor of mobile devices.
    • But, it is only very recently that global smartphone sales have overtaken feature phones (source).
  • Consumer metrics tracked for Social Media (e.g., likes, posts) are almost meaningless for enterprise social solutions (source).
  • Google’s combination of Knowledge Graph, Carousel, Places, and Maps makes it a formidable Local Search competitor. Google Wallet could capture the last mile.
  • Yelp’s real advantage in Local is its user base and depth of ratings and reviews. But, the integration with Apple’s Map on iOS is a real problem (for Apple too!).
  • What about Google+? Well, believe it or not, Google+ shares are predicted to overtake Facebook social sharing by 2016 (source).
  • Despite the buzz for Social Media, Search is still a major force in overall global internet traffic.
    • During Google’s recent outage, Global Internet traffic dropped 40% (source).
  • In the past few months, Yahoo Search and Bing have been exchanging web search share, but Google recently regained share to climb back to 67% (source).

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