iPad means more web users will circumvent web addresses to get information online.
It wasn’t a question of whether or not Apple would release a tablet computer this past week. It was only a question of the specs and name.
What we’re left with is a device called iPad that is basically a big iPod Touch. But it could be part of a larger trend that will wittle down at direct navigation traffic on domain names. In the iPad’s case, it’s applications that access the web. These applications don’t require typing in a URL. Instead, a tap on the home screen icon gets you to what you’re looking for.
A move to apps as opposed to URLs also throws web analytics into question. If someone accesses their bank account via the Bank of America app, that’s one less visitor to BankofAmerica.com. Should that count in its stats?
While at DOMAINfest this past week, one of the questions I asked a number of large domainers is if they’ve seen any decline in type-in traffic. Most said no, or very little. But there are certainly threats. In addition to apps, witness Google Chrome’s “one box”, which merges the URL bar with the search box.
I’m not sure what the biggest threat to type-in traffic is. But it is lurking.