Amazon Moving into Mobile Search

Amazon wants to extend its reach into the mobile world and is using the tablet as its ticket.  The tablet market in the US is expected to grow to over 250 million shipments in the next five  years, and 3.6 million UK residents already own tablets.  While iPads make up the biggest share of that market, Amazon has announced the impending launch of its own Fire.  Fire will have a brand new, Amazon-created browser, Silk, which will provide sophisticated cloud-based features for users.  At a much lower price point ($199 in the US), the Fire could provide stiff competition for Apple.  Should your SEO team be paying attention?

In a word, yes.  While browsers like IE, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox will continue to dominate, Silk has the advantage of being a completely new presence with seamless cloud services and a proxy to boost speed.  Page load times will be faster, and this means that users can view content, whether textual, graphic, or video more efficiently.  This could help mobile SEO campaigns see better results and be more profitable because bounce rates will be lower than on other browsers.

Another aspect worth consideration is that Silk will customize to “display your most frequently visited sites, allowing for fast navigation to the sites you visit most often.”  This may reduce the amount of visits users make to Google; they could stay within the Amazon silo.  Some observers are wondering what this will mean for Google.

According to Jean-Louis Gassee in his tech and media blog:  “What happens to Google ads and services?  Today, on my PC, Google knows it’s me using its services.  Tomorrow, from a Fire, I assume they’ll get an Amazon Web Services request without further user info…Google could find itself providing these free services without getting much of anything in return.”

There is speculation that Amazon may release a Silk version for PC, but it is far too early for any evidence of that.  There is plenty of evidences that Amazon is going to make things interesting for tablet users – and for Google.

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