Google: Mobile Search Will Pass PC Sooner Than People Think

There's an extensive article in the New York Times about Google and mobile search. The article is mostly a feature about the evolution of Google's approach to mobile. It also discusses voice search and Goggles but there's little hard data or new numbers. 

The $1 billion mobile ad run rate is mentioned as are several previously released data points. Here are a few of the stats and observations from the article:

  • Google says mobile searches are growing as quickly as Web searches were at the same stage in the company’s early days, and they are up sixfold in the last two years. 
  • Mobile searches spike during the lunch hour and evenings, when people are away from their computers. 
  • Search for Wal-Mart on a computer and Google suspects you are probably looking for the e-commerce site or job openings. Search on a phone and Google assumes you are looking for the nearest store. Other search tools were built specifically for phones.

We've estimated, using comScore and Google's own public data that between 1.9 and 2.4 billion monthly queries on Google are coming from mobile. Google has said 33% of mobile queries have local intent. That would mean that between roughly 600 million and almost 800 million monthly queries are local-mobile.

But here's the "money quote" from the NY Times' piece: “Mobile search is definitely going to surpass desktop search,” said Scott B. Huffman, who works on mobile search at Google and leads its search evaluation team. “The lines will pass, and I think they’ll pass before anyone thought they would.”