Google Mobile Shift

The mobile shift

You might be interested to know how many times people use Google’s search engine each day as a guide to navigate their scuba dive through the myriad cyber oceans of Internet. Well, there is a number, and that number lies somewhere in the range you would probably would expect to see it.

Straight from the mouth of one of Google’s blogs, ‘People are using Google mobile searches billions of times per day. Consumers turn to Google for I want-to-know, I want-to-go, I want-to-do, and I want-to-buy moments.’

Yep, people from all around the world are using Google billions of times per day to find things they’re looking for. That’s a massive figure. Frankly though, it isn’t all that surprising. When you consider the earth’s current population and couple that with how Google and the Internet are almost synonymous terms, one would expect that number to be somewhere in the billions. Google really is the gateway through which most of use the Internet. And the Internet, most of us use.

Are The PC's Outdated?

Google came out and said that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.” The company declined to elaborate further on what the other countries were, how recently this change happened or what the relative volumes of PC and mobile search queries are now.

The report from Google comes right on the heels of the company's requirement that websites offer mobile-friendly versions. Earlier this year, Google instituted changes to its search algorithm that give greater weight to those sites that work well on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

What we still don’t know is what the relative volume of PC-to-mobile search queries are, how recently the transition to mobile’s dominance happened, or what the other countries in which mobile has surpassed PC are, but it was highlighted earlier this year (according to eMarketer) that on a global scale the average Internet searches from mobile devices (mobile, smartphone or tablet) has topped the 50% mark. It has also been reported that in the US, closer to 60% of Internet users are using a mobile device to conduct their online searches.

Why The Shift

There are numerous reasons why smartphones have overtaken PC's in this area. They are now faster and more capable; people are using mobiles as they use desktops, more and more sites—to some extent through Google’s encouragement—are mobile-friendly, and so make it easier and more appealing for mobile users to make Google searches.

Google highlights another key factor weighing in on this momentum. ‘Consumers, particularly on mobile devices, now have higher expectations than ever before—they want everything right, and they want everything right away.’

Why this trend was predicted by so many is clear to see for anyone looking. Mobile phones are getting smarter and more capable (not to mention bigger). Information is typically needed on the go. One plus one equals two. It’s only natural that consumers are reaching for their phones to find answers—while they’re shopping in a brick and mortar retail store, or walking down the street looking for the nearest gelato place, or driving and on the hunt for a B&B, or in a restaurant with a group of friends debating whether Portuguese is the primary language of Brazil, etc.

Marketers Take Note

This new mobile search trend means that businesses and marketers now, more than ever, have to be mindful of their market’s needs in the moment, wherever they are, at all times. We’ve been saying this over and over in previous blog posts, and we keep saying it because it’s something that really needs to be hammered in.

It’s not enough to rely on marketing efforts that profile customers in such a way that they are viewed as people who are sedentary, sitting behind desks in front of desktops plugged into wall sockets or laptops whose position in the house is more or less fixed. Modern consumers are looking for businesses that can satisfy their needs at every corner. They are looking for businesses whose online presence isn’t comfortably accessible only on the big screen of laptops and desktops; they are looking for businesses whose online presence is malleable and responsive, equally user-friendly across all platforms.

In short, businesses that aren’t responsive are falling behind in the race for their customers attention. It’s not enough to have mobile sitting there as some marginal platform that you might get around to thinking about when devising your marketing strategies. Google has just shown us that the future is mobile. And when Google talks, it’s time to listen.