Search Engines, more mobile than ever?

Discussing the mobility of search engines is nothing new for today’s businesses and consumers. As the most sought out form of information retrieval, Search Engines have had to progressively adapt to the ever changing digital world and the needs of its consumers. To keep up with these trends and inevitable behaviours, a North American car manufacturer has begun to incorporate search engine abilities over a 4G LTE network within its vehicles.

Earlier this month, before the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, GM announced the introduction of Wi-Fi and 4G LTE networks to its existing OnStar services offered in a wide range of new 2016 models and some from previous years. The once a “nice to have” luxury available in 30 GM car models offered its drivers (more specifically, paying OnStar subscribers) the luxury of handsfree calling, turn-by-turn directions, directories, diagnostics and emergency services all in the hopes of facilitating driver experiences and reigniting trust with the brand and vehicles in general. This new addition and Internet capabilities however, hopes to make OnStar a necessary luxury for drivers.

New additions to the service include proactive maintenance alerts, which can also be made available over a smartphone displaying tire pressure and fuel levels. Internet connectivity in the vehicle now allows drivers and their passengers not only access to their favourite YouTube channels but the option to record their driving through a web based report, which can then be submitted to select insurance companies in hopes of lowering their insurance rate. In addition to the newly added safety and entertainment features, this update to the trusted service has created a connected experience for drivers on the road; the vehicle is a new approach to everyday consumerism. Divers can take advantage of the 4G LTE network and its partners to find nearby businesses and services. The ‘At Your Service’ feature allows drivers to directly book a hotel through the service and partnered third party hotel inventory without ever having to take their eyes or hands off the road. With the help of ‘Parkopedia’ drivers can find parking spaces within the area in which they presently find themselves or at a desired destination. Once arrived at the destination either requested in directions or searched in directories, consumers will be sent available offers and coupons for that specific business and others in the area.

So why the coupons? It would seem the coupons and promotional offers are a commercial trade off for the newly introduced Internet connection and services to encourage and promote not only safe and convenient driving habits but also new business opportunities and partnerships. The new additions to OnStar will be available on a wide range of newer models as well as some dating back to 2013 that have active OnStar subscriptions.

Now although GM is the industry leader in building 4G LTE compatible vehicles it is safe to assume many other manufacturers will follow suite in the very near future. So what does this mean for your business?  Despite this new release currently only being available in North America, this new development and technology adoption has opened the door for a wide new range of SEO possibilities. The challenge will become how to make sure your business is searchable for these mobile search engines and creating content that is easily crawled and relevant to the mobile consumer. The consumer incentive of coupons and offers are also very attractive strategies. Visitors to new areas searching for a great deal and on Thai food will have access to this in a matter of seconds, is your business ready for what awaits us in 2015?


Sources: PC World, OnStar, SearchEngineLand, Image