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Mobile Search Statistics

Posted in: Mobile Internet by Richard Hearne on October 8, 2007
Internet Marketing Ireland

If, like me, you believe that mobile is going to be big then this research paper on Mobile Search is required reading:

The top mobile query accounted for about 0.8 percent of all wireless queries, and the top 1,000 mobile queries accounted for about 17 percent of all cell-phone-based queries.

Other gems:

After issuing a query, the user receives 10 search results. Most users either found what they were looking for on the first page of results or chose not to look further; only 10.4 percent of queries had requests to display more than the initial set of search results.

More than 50 percent of queries led to a click on a search result. It took the average user 30 seconds to scan the search results before selecting one. Of those queries that didn’t lead to a click, it’s possible that the user found the answer in one of the Web-page summaries returned with each search result, gave up on the search entirely,
or refined the search in a subsequent query.

And what do you think people might be searching for on their mobile phones?

Mobile Search Queries
Mobile Search Queries

The paper is written by Maryam Kamvar and Shumeet Baluja, both Google engineers, and took a sample of data from a large US carrier over a 1 month period.

The full text can be downloaded here.

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  1. It’s pity that more “useful” sites and services aren’t available for mobiles. Rail and bus timetables are an obvious choice, but Irish Rail / Bus Eireann don’t seem to have done anything about it yet

    Comment by Michele — October 8, 2007 @ 7:17 pm

  2. Indeed the Irish Rail site is almost impossible to use on a Blackberry.,, :(

    Comment by LT — October 9, 2007 @ 8:10 pm

  3. Never mind Blackberry – it’s fairly difficult to use on a PC.

    I travelled to both Belfast and Cork in the past 3 months, both via Irish Rail. But I can safely say whoever designed the schedule checking and purchase funnel should hang their heads in shame.

    I was going to dig into who the culprits are to do some naming and shaming, but that would be too far out of character for me…

    On a brighter note, didn’t the Dart do some interesting stuff with timetables via SMS?

    Rgds to both

    Comment by Richard Hearne — October 10, 2007 @ 1:03 am

  4. Richard – I think a couple of people have done stuff with some of the Dublin timetables, though I’m not sure if it was “official” or not

    Comment by Michele — October 20, 2007 @ 11:20 am

  5. Your chat in the forums gave me the idea for this post.

    Comment by Leslie — October 24, 2007 @ 10:04 am

  6. Absolutely – roll on the hard times and SEO will likely really take off.


    Comment by Richard Hearne — October 24, 2007 @ 7:53 pm

  7. [...] well so Tera WURFL grabs the WURFL xml file once and stores it in a local MySQL table for querying. I agree with others that the mobile web is finally coming of age about 6 years after the disastrous rollout [...]

    Pingback by Georgie Casey » Blog Archive » getting your mobile site to work on all phones — November 19, 2007 @ 6:14 am

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