This week at SMX East, I moderated a session called The New Search Landscape, which asked what the near-term future of search will look like. It was a lively and interesting discussion. For a full overview of the session, read Casie Gillette’s recap.
At the outset, comScore’s Eli Goodman presented some overview data. It was predominantly about the impact of mobile devices on search activity. The several charts below are from his presentation.
Desktop search is flat or declining. Even though there is some “time-spent” growth on desktop or laptop computers, search appears to have peaked; query volume growth is now all mobile (including tablets).
Search queries coming from tablets are showing the highest growth, but that’s because they are growing from a smaller base. As a matter of absolute query volume, there’s more search happening on smartphones.
What’s interesting in the following chart is that comScore says there are still more queries coming from PCs than mobile devices. However, Google previously said that mobile query volume now exceeds desktop search queries.
It could be that the discrepancy is explained because comScore is including Bing, Yahoo, Ask and AOL search data in the overall volume numbers. The majority of the queries on those engines are coming from the PC.
The slide below is responsible for the headline. It indicates that in the US, iOS devices are now seeing more search query volume than Android or Windows phones. The data don’t measure or reflect search activity on maps or vertical search in apps (except for search-engine apps).
It’s important to point out, however, that the vast majority of search volume coming from iOS devices is happening through Google.
Outside the US, it’s a somewhat different story, with Android generating the majority of search query volume except in Canada, the UK and Australia.