Google’s growing problem: 50% of people do zero searches per day on mobile

Great piece on the challenges that Google has in relation to time and user interaction models on mobile. Search provided consumers with simplicity of discovery and pathing on desktop, but on mobile the user journey is more fragmented and also a single tap to discover (and with voice interfaces even easier) so the number of searches per day, per user is dramatically less on mobile than desktop. This is creating an exponential challenge for Google, as Apple integrates search into the core iOS, Android is an open OS, so is not one flavour on all mobiles and also the tap/app/tap/app model means that consumers have the information they are interested in right there …no need to use the Google box to navigate to it.

The Overspill: when there's more that I want to say


Amit Singhal in 2011 showing a comparison of search volumes from mobile and “early desktop years”. Photo by Niall Kennedy on Flickr.

Amit Singhal, Google’s head of search, let slip a couple of interesting statistics at the Re/Code conference – none more so than that more than half of all searches incoming to Google each month are from mobile. (That excludes tablets.)

This averages out to less than one search per smartphone per day. We’ll see why in a bit.

First let’s throw in some more publicly available numbers.
• more than 100bn searches made per month to Google (total of desktop/ tablet/ mobile).
• about 1.4bn monthly active Google Android devices. (Source: Sundar Pichai, Nexus launch.)
• about 1 billion monthly active Google Play users. (Source: Sundar Pichai, Nexus launch.)
• about 1.5bn PCs in use worldwide.
• about 400m iPhones in use worldwide. Probably about 100m…

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