Discover Nuances in Search Behavior by Device

New insight on why mobile devices, tablets and desktops do not experience the same search queries

The options for engaging with search engines has changed as tablet devices hit the market and mobile devices become more popular.

Taylor Schreiner, senior director of strategic research and insight at Yahoo, believes it’s important for brands to understand the subtle differences in search.

A recent article from MediaPost discussed the findings from a six-month study from Yahoo and Reprise Media on the way mobile devices affect search behavior across different devices, including handsets, tablets and desktops.

The study found that men are 7% to 9% more likely to use mobile devices to search than women. Mobile devices are used more often for searches based on proximity. A user will type in a specific product they are looking for, instead of a brand name. Unless, however, they are looking for a specific store that is the closest to their location.

Mobile devices experience fewer brand-based searches and almost 50% less keyword terms. Desktops, on the other hand, get the highest percent of branded searches.

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An interesting part of MediaPost’s article stated that the iPad gets more searches on video related content – movies and TV – than any other mobile device and almost as much as desktops experience.

For publishers producing video content, iPad users appear to be a valuable market to consider catering to.

Although mobile devices are heavily used and valuable to local businesses, there is frustration with the usability. eMarketer recently reported that 44% of men under age 45 are not satisfied with the size of mobile device screens, which discourages them from using it more often. Similarly, 38% of women in the same age group shared this feeling. Additionally, 36% of men age 45 and under said mobile devices were too slow compared to 29% of women.

Online publishers and Internet marketers need to keep in mind that search queries are different depending on the device used. Desktops experience more in-depth and branded searches while mobile devices are typically used for one-word search terms. It is also important to optimize websites for use on mobile as the inability for websites to load properly on mobile devices annoys many users.

For more, take a look at this article from MediaPost.

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