This invited talk was given at ECIR 2013 Industry Day in Moscow on the 27th March 2013. The talk was on the topic of mobile search, a research area I've devoted the past 10 years to.
Recently the world has witnessed a revolution in terms of mobile web and mobile search usage. Mobile phones, once deemed as simple communications devices, now provide mobile users with access to a wealth of online content, anytime and anywhere. In 2012, the increasing presence of mobile devices caused desktop search to decline for the first time ever; a level of growth that simply cannot be ignored.
My aim is to take a nostalgic look back at the simple beginnings of mobile search and discuss how, why and in what ways mobile search has evolved over the past 8-10 years. I highlight patterns of mobile search usage and show how they not only differ from desktop search, but they are continually evolving. And instead of taking a single, data-centric viewpoint of mobile search, I also discuss user-centric studies, highlighting the unique needs, intents and motivations of mobile searchers. Finally, I share some thoughts about where mobile search is heading, the challenges that lie ahead and discuss some of the factors that I think are important when it comes to enriching the future search experiences of mobile users.