Mobile Search – The Proof (For the US anyway)

By March 2, 2009 mobile search No Comments

My posts last week were an attempt at an introduction to mobile internet – why you need to optimise for it and the things to consider.

Today I have stumbled upon some more ‘evidence’ to add to my arsenal which should be convincing people of the continued evolution and importance of mobile search. This research was conducted by ABI Research, a US based company- which of course is not 100% the same as an Australian piece of research, however, as the US are basically the worldwide leaders in the internet and often the blue print for a lot of Australian behaviour, unfortunately, it shouldn’t be too bad an indicator of things to come.

The results did surprise me, perhaps Australia is different to the US, but in the US, apparently in 2008 over 70% of mobile phone users used their mobile to do an internet search. This was an increase in usage of 14% on the previous year – which fell short of the predictions many people made for mobile search in 2008, where it was meant to skyrocket.

At first I thought this was massively high, but then I remembered that this included usage such as emails (what else is a Blackberry for?) and downloading music or ringtones.  This 70% didn’t necessarily mean using Google.

The behaviour of these searches wasn’t particularly encouraging for online businesses, with big increases in searchers looking for news and content to download (such as music), whereas local information searches remained about the same as the previous years. The percentage use of social networking and sports content remained about the same on the previous year as well.

However, with the increase in usage comes an increase in familiarity, comfort and obviously an increase in technological capability. With people now Googling at the drop of a hat while on a desk top, it is easy to imagine an increasing market for Google mobile as more people get comfortable with using the technology.

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