Nearly 58% of Searches Now Mobile According to New Report

Affirming Google’s 2015 pronouncement that the majority of searches now originate from mobile devices, Hitwise does a vertical dive into mobile search in the US. In a new report, “Mobile Search: Topics and Themes,” (registration), the company “examined hundreds of millions of online search queries” and looked at consumer search behavior by vertical.

The following chart shows the percentage of queries initiated on smartphones (predominantly) and tablets vs. PCs in major consumer categories. In “Food & Beverage,” for example, 72% of searches were from mobile devices. At the other end, banking still sees 61% of its searches coming from desktops and laptops.

Mobile search by vertical

The mobile average, across the above categories, was 57.5 percent.

The report goes on to do an analysis of the most common types of mobile searches in each category. Among the data are the following:

  • Banking: 73% of 30-year mortgage searches are mobile
  • Travel: 79% of searches looking for the “best time” to visit a location are mobile (suggesting early stage travel planning)
  • Food & Beverage: 80% of food safety searches are mobile
  • Retail: 82% of business hours queries are mobile

The report also seeks to dispel the idea that mobile queries are much shorter than PC search query strings. In the Food & Beverage category average PC queries were found to be 13.8 characters in length, while mobile queries were longer at 15.5 characters on average.

The report doesn’t analyze whether or not this may have been the result of voice input. However, that would be our speculation and/or the fact that mobile users are often looking for very specific information due to an immediate need.

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