Study: Search isn't as popular on mobile as online

Smartphone and tablet users do not use search engines as much as other online users. According to a new study commissioned by Telmetrics and xAd, and conducted by Nielsen, many smartphone users navigate directly to websites and apps rather than through a search engine.  

The study, which looked at search engine usage in certain verticals such as travel, automobiles and restaurants, found that using a search engine was secondary to direct navigation most of the time. For example, in the Travel category, smartphone users used direct navigation to get to familiar sites and apps for 43 percent of the time and used a search engine to find sites just 24 percent of the time.

In the Automobile category, smartphone users used direct navigation 46 percent of the time and search engines 37 percent of the time. For Restaurants, smartphone users used direct navigation 44 percent of the time and search engines 33 percent of the time.

The study also looked at common use-cases for both smartphone and tablet users. Not surprisingly, the study found that 73 percent of the mobile users had looked for a phone number and contacted a business within the past 30 days. And 84 percent had looked for a business location, a map or driving directions in the past month.

Click the chart above to view the full image from xAd and Telmetrics.

Interestingly, search giant Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is pouring more development into voice-enabled search, perhaps to encourage more smartphone users to use search functionality on their devices. The company just announced that it is bringing its revamped voice-enabled search software to Apple's iOS mobile operating system, where it will go head-to-head with Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) own Siri voice search tool.

Google first introduced its speech-enabled Voice Actions feature for Android devices in 2010 but dramatically overhauled the technology in late June with the release of Android 4.1, a.k.a. Jelly Bean. According to Google, the improved Voice Search better interprets user questions and intent by combining the firm's speech recognition tools, a deeper understanding of natural language and its Knowledge Graph, a database encompassing more than 500 million real-world people, places and things complete with 3.5 billion attributes and connections.

For more:
- see this Marketing Land article

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