Individual users of mobile search are not alone. Mobile search volume has surpassed desktop search volume in the UK. This is according to Eileen Naughton, managing director and vice president for sales and operations at Google UK-Ireland. Naughton told an audience at London Tech Week during a 15th June presentation that over half of all online searches in the UK are carried out on mobile devices. Naughton also said that mobile searches are outstripping desktop searches for the UK in respect of views of YouTube videos.
In May, Google used its Adwords Blog to inform readers that a higher percentage of searches are originating on mobile devices compared to desktop searches, and covering ten different countries. Other than the US and Japan, Google did not specify which countries it was referring to, but Naughton’s talk at London Tech Week would suggest that the UK can be added to that ten-strong list.
Google has been putting a strong emphasis on mobile search, as reflected in its Mobilegeddon update, rolled out on 21st April and aimed at boosting mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results. The mobile-friendly ranking algorithm change was being talked of in almost apocalyptic terms prior to its rollout, amid concerns that websites would not be mobile-friendly in time, but the hype does appear, in retrospect, to have been overblown. Google was adamant before the algorithm was launched that websites and the content on them would either be mobile-friendly or not, and that there would be no such thing as different degrees of mobile-friendliness.
Search queries have become increasingly important for mobile, owing to Google’s determination to improve its ability to anticipate and respond to a user’s search intent when they make a query. This means that in many cases Google is generating the information a user is looking for directly in the search result found above organic rankings.
London Tech Week, which runs until 21st June, draws on London’s position as a technology hub and brings together UK and internationally based tech experts, as well as enthusiasts, for networking and social learning events. There are more than 200 events being held across London as part of the 2015 Tech Week.