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Mobiles Have Overtaken Desktop as the Leading Device for Searching on Google

Mobiles Have Overtaken Desktop as the Leading Device for Searching on Google

by Ben Wittams-Smith6th May 2015

Google have officially confirmed that more searchers are made by users on mobile devices than on desktop computers

Many in the industry had anticipated that mobiles would eventually become the favored device for browsing the web. The growth of smartphone users coupled with increasing internet speed has meant that people have far more opportunity to conveniently search online while on the go. As Google puts it:

“”>Billions of times per day, consumers turn to Google for I want-to-know, I want-to-go, I want-to-do, and I want-to-buy moments. And at these times, consumers are increasingly picking up their smartphones for answers.”

This is based on data from 10 countries, including the US and Japan. Google haven’t gone into detail about how and when this change occured or to what degree the volume of mobile search queries is greater than desktop.

We do know that Google does not view tablet devices such as iPads as being mobile devices, and actually groups them along with desktop computers.


The increase in mobile use over-time

ComScore have in the past reported on the relative volume of search queries in the U.S. across devices. It was reported that in the fourth quarter of 2014 that around 29 percent of web searches were made on either a mobile phone or tablet device, with the number of searches on smartphones being almost twice that of tablets (12.6 and 5.9 billion searches respectively).

comscore stats

This does not seem consistent with Google’s own stats, which suggest that the use of smartphones for online search increased far more rapidly than 5 percent year on year. It is of course possible that comScores data was inaccurate to begin with.

The Implications

With it being apparent that smartphones are now the favoured device for making online searches it is now more obvious than ever why Google have released their new Mobile Friendly algorithm. Google understand that mobile phone users have expectations, which if not met, may result in them looking elsewhere for what they are looking for. Users expect websites to be responsive, easily navigatible, and fast loading.

To keep up with this rapidly developing trend, marketers will need to:

  • Optimise their websites for mobile device users, and not just making one’s website mobile-friendly in Google’s eyes, but ensuring that mobile phone users are satisfied with their experience on the mobile version of your website.
  • Understand how cross-device conversions will affect their conversion funnel. Some users will research via their mobile device, but then switch to their desktop computer for further research before making a purchase.
  • Recognise the growing importance of advertising within mobile Apps


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About The Author
Ben Wittams-Smith
Ben Wittams-Smith is a content writer for Just SEO and the Company Director of JSEO LTD. As a specialist in SEO, SEM and digital marketing, Ben regularly contributes content and provides analytic insight in these areas.

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