Mobile vs Desktop Search Trends

StartApp celebrated last week with the news that its search monetization software has reached its 150 millionth download, impressive for a company founded less than 2 years ago. To celebrate reaching this milestone they’ve had this infographic created which provides a snapshot of mobile search trends.

There’s numerous articles writing about the year of the mobile but I like to think we’re in the early years of the decade of mobile; the usage figures continue to grow quarter on quarter.

In the United States over 110 million people now own smartphones and earlier this week comScore reported a 94% growth by smartphone audience accessing online retail for the EU5 (UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy); representing 16.6% of the EU5’s total smartphone audience (117,609,000). And let’s not forget the audience who prefer not to use their mobiles to search, but are more than happy to use their tablet when curled up on the couch at home (and the pc is switched off upstairs).

The key takeaways for me with StartApp’s mobile vs desktop search trends infographic are:

  • 40% of mobile searches are local, with the average response time being 1 hour (compared to 20% and 1 week for desktops)
  • Advertisers with mobile optimised sites and targeted campaigns enjoy a 11.5% higher click through rate (compared to non mobile optimised)

And if we ever needed more evidence of why mobile commerce shouldn’t be ignored, check out the 24 hour mobile vs desktop search usage graph. Despite being in front of a PC all day, we just switch device outside of our working hours and continue our online connections with mobiles and tablets. 

What do you think, are we in the early years of the mobile decade or do you have any figures to add to this infographic?

A Snapshot of Mobile Search Trends [Infographic]
© 2012 StartApp


  1. says

    These are great statistics. As a mobile web developer, our clients have also seen the impact smartphone browsing has had on local business. In addition, mobile web traffic will increase 2600% in the next four years. Mobile will soon replace desktops as the primary way people get online.To learn more about us (Womple), check out our new YouTube video:, or visit our website:

    • says

      Thanks for the comment Rob and thanks for following us on Twitter. I’ve had a look at your website and YouTube vid, interesting idea and I especially like that businesses choose the key parts of their content/web that should be visible when mobile browsing.

  2. says

    You say “Advertisers with mobile optimised sites and targeted campaigns enjoy a 11.5% higher click through rate (compared to non mobile optimised)”. How would a online ad clicker know that the subsequent website was mobile optimized? Targeted campaigns makes sense though.

    • says

      Hi Adam, thanks for your comment.

      I think that it is more a case of the mobile ad clicker getting a better experience. So the ad clicker, let’s call him Frank, arrives through a campaign that is targeted for mobile users and brings Frank to a landing site that is optimized for mobile users.

      Frank gets a better user experience, gets the messages and calls to actions intend by the campaign and landing site without any of the distractions of a poorly optimised site e.g. too wide for his mobile screen.

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