Updated: 30th April 2017

Report: Nearly 60 percent of searches now from mobile devices

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According to official Google statements, more than 50 percent of search queries globally now come from mobile devices. But we don’t know whether the number is 51 percent or 60 percent, or if it varies significantly by country.

A recent report from Hitwise (registration required) argues that in the US mobile search is roughly 58 percent of overall search query volume. That’s based on an average of 11 key categories and associated queries analyzed by Hitwise in its “Mobile Search: Topics and Themes” report. The company “examined hundreds of millions of online search queries” across PCs, smartphones and tablets between April 10 and May 7, 2016.

Share of online searches initiated on a mobile device, by industry

Hitwise mobile search %

Source: Hitwise

The category with the highest percentage of mobile search volume was “Food & Beverage,” with 72 percent. The category with the lowest volume was banking, with 39 percent (or 61 percent on the desktop).

Another interesting finding in the report is that mobile queries are slightly longer than PC search queries. For example, in Food & Beverage, average PC query strings were 13.8 characters, mobile queries were at 15.5 characters (just over two words). Unfortunately, the report doesn’t provide additional insight or detail by category on query length.

Hitwise mobile query length

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Author: Greg Sterling

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