Several sages are forecasting that mobile search queries will surpass desktop searches by the end of the current year. And although these estimates are based on data collected worldwide, where outside the U.S. mobile device numbers are double those of PCs, a recent article from Screenwerk addresses this prediction, questioning if this is a trend in the U.S. as well and, if so, is geotargeting of location-based queries keeping pace.
At the present, desktop searches in the United States surpass mobile searches by more than triple. However, since late in the third quarter of 2013, and continuing through the end of the first quarter of 2014, queries from mobile devices have shown a steady, albeit slow, growth while desktop queries have declined by the same rate. If this is the case, then geotargeting with location extensions seems like a logical marketing approach.
Interestingly, marketers are not keeping pace with this trend, having been slow to include location extensions, with only about 15% employing this strategy. This puts marketers at a disadvantage given that queries from mobile devices will comprise more than half of the on- and off-line searches and that more than half of these will carry location extensions (and this is not limited to mobile devices, as location-based queries form a significant percentage of PC searches).
Even though the shift may be gradual, marketers and their marketing campaigns are missing out on a golden opportunity by failing to stay abreast of this trend, especially when Google and others have developed the means to manage and utilize location data from mobile queries.
Sterling, Greg. “What Does Mobile Query Growth Mean for Local Search?”; Screenwerk. March 18, 2014.