Mobile is the biggest buzzword in the technology industry at the moment, but a new report suggests that its importance in search isn’t growing as fast as in other areas. Mobile search queries, across all search engines including Google and Bing, now make up 29% of the total number according to comScore’s new report, but this percentage has only seen a modest increase since the previous year.
This statistic was released this month as part of comScore’s Digital Future in Focus report, alongside many other interesting stats regarding internet usage for the US market. This was the first time comScore’s report had included figures for mobile search, and their findings have surprised some people in the industry.
comScore published a chart that shows the spread of search queries between tablet, smartphone and desktop users, comparing stats from 2013 and 2014. They combined tablet and smartphone searches to calculate a total figure for mobile, and found that they represented 29% of all search queries in 2014. The percentage of search queries made on smartphones and tablets in 2013 was 25%.
Another interesting related finding in the report was that tablet searches are growing faster than smartphone searches. This could be because tablets are more similar to desktop computers, which is a more familiar way to search for most people. The letters on screen are larger, which makes typing longer search queries easier. Another reason for the current growth in tablet searches could be that tablets have seen a faster adoption rate overall, becoming popular at a faster pace since they came onto the market compared to smartphones.
Many website owners reading this report will wonder if they have been too hasty to amend their websites to suit mobile phones, even sometimes sacrificing SEO ranking in order to serve mobile users. However, the slow growth of mobile search does not reflect the growth of mobile internet usage overall. According to a separate comScore report from August 2014, we have passed the tipping point, and the number of global users of mobile internet has surpassed the number of desktop internet users. Both numbers, of course, are in their billions. In summary, we need to ensure that our websites continue to attract and serve desktop users and mobile users equally well in this time of transition.