Google declares that mobile search tops desktop

Google says that more people now use Google Search on mobile devices than they do on desktops. ComScore disagrees.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

The quarters keep going by and PC sales keep going down. Surely, though, you think, "PCs really can fall behind smartphone and tables, can they?" I'm sorry to disappoint you but by one important metric, they already have. Google announced "more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan."

Google says mobile has overtaken the desktop when it comes to search, but comScore disagrees.
-- comScore
No wonder Google recently made its biggest algorithm change in years as it now using a site's "mobile friendliness" as a way to rate it. People in the ad and search business call this change "Mobilegeddon." Inside Google, they probably call it, "catching up with the times."

A related Google study, which was released on May 6, found that mobile apps, and not web browsers, now account for an average of 30 hours per user per month. Therefore, Google is encouraging companies to invest in apps.

But, simply releasing an app for your service or site isn't enough. Google suggests you make it easy for users to find your apps by search engine and advertise them. On top of that, Google suggests you refresh your app periodically, add ads within them, and add deep links to those ads.

Not everyone agrees with Google's analysis. ComScore in its March 2015 digital device and traffic survey found, "While most of the growth in digital media consumption over the past four years has occurred on smartphones (up 394 percent) and tablets (up 1,721 percent), these mobile platforms are not eating into aggregate time spent on desktop, which has still grown 37 percent over this time."

Still, comScore also found mobile search queries, including both smartphones and tablets, came to only 29 percent of total search volume. On the other hand, the research firm also discovered that in 2014 Facebook's mobile revenue surpassed its desktop revenue.

Another take from comScore's data, which might explain Google new emphasis on mobile, from the publication Search Engine Land is that "Google search revenues may have essentially peaked on the PC. Google thus either has to take share from rivals on the PC or boost mobile search revenues to maintain growth."

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