Google Says Mobile Search Volumes Pass Desktop, More Effective For App Discovery

Google is making a big mobile search (and display) ads push.

Google Mobile Smartphones

In a blog post today Google reported that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.” Google declined to provide more color or detail beyond this statement — other than that “mobile” here means smartphones only.

While there have been many conference presentations, predictions, articles and discussions that have anticipated this moment, it has finally arrived.

Simultaneously the company made a range of announcements about new mobile ad units/formats, new automation tools and improved mobile and cross device attribution. Those announcements are explained in more detail on Google’s AdWords blog and in Ginny Marvin’s SEL article and related Marketing Land piece.

Search Ads

Google is also distributing a report that contains data about app discovery, engagement best practices and an argument for its own app-related search ads. Part of the findings in the report are based on a survey of 8,470 smartphone owners “who had used apps in the previous week.” It was conducted by Ipsos MediaCT.

The survey found that 40 percent of these smartphone owners browse app stores for apps. However “one in four app users discovers an app through search.” This is “especially prevalent,” according to Google for local, tech and travel apps: “people are 26 percent (local), 59 percent (tech), and 30 percent (travel) more likely than the average to use search to find the apps they seek.”

Google says that search-based mobile app install ads are the most effective way to drive downloads. Facebook has generated huge mobile revenue from its app install ads product. But here Google is using survey data to argue that search slightly beats social app install ads (see graphic above).

In the report Google also discusses and promotes mobile app engagement ads and app deep linking.

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