Mobile vs Desktop Search Traffic

Years 2013 to 2022 for mobile search traffic vs desktop-based searches show a clear tipping point in 2017 when the desktop lost its crown and mobile became king.


10 Years Rise

Over the last decade, the rise of mobile devices has revolutionized how people access the internet, significantly impacting search behaviour. With more and more people turning to their smartphones and tablets to browse the web, search engines have had to adapt to this shift in consumer behaviour.

According to the data above, mobile usage has steadily increased over the past 10 years, with desktop usage declining as a result. In 2013, only 16.2% of internet users accessed the web via mobile devices, compared to 83.8% who used desktops. Fast forward to 2022, and mobile usage has grown to 76.9%, while desktop usage has dropped to just 23.1%. We expect desktop usage to drop further from 2023 to 2024 and beyond as mobile increases its dominance.


One reason for this shift in usage is the convenience and portability of mobile devices. With the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets, people can access the internet wherever and whenever they want, whether they're on the go or sitting on the couch. Mobile devices have also become more powerful and versatile, with larger screens and more advanced capabilities, making them ideal for browsing and searching the web.

An app for that

Another factor driving the rise of mobile usage is the growth of mobile apps. Many businesses now have dedicated mobile apps that allow customers to access their products and services from their smartphones or tablets. This has made it easier for people to shop, book appointments, and access information on the go, further reinforcing the trend towards mobile search.


The rise of mobile search has had a significant impact on search engine optimization (SEO). In the early days of SEO, desktop optimization was the focus, as most users were accessing the web via desktops. However, as mobile usage has grown, so has the importance of mobile optimization.

Mobile optimization involves tailoring websites and content to be easily accessible and user-friendly on mobile devices. This includes using responsive design to ensure that websites adjust to different screen sizes, optimizing page load times, and using mobile-friendly formats for images and videos.

Mobile-friendly update

Search engines have also adapted to the rise of mobile search by prioritizing mobile-friendly content in their search results. In 2015, Google introduced a mobile-friendly update that prioritized mobile-optimized websites in its search results, penalizing sites that were not mobile-friendly. This put pressure on businesses to optimize their websites for mobile devices or risk losing visibility in search results.

Voice Search

Another significant impact of mobile search is the rise of voice search. With the proliferation of virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, more and more people are using voice search to access information on their mobile devices. Voice search is typically more conversational than typed search, with users asking questions rather than typing in keywords. This has led to the rise of long-tail keywords, which are more specific and conversational in nature than traditional keywords.

The rise of voice search has also had an impact on local search. With people using their mobile devices to search for local businesses and services, local SEO has become more important than ever for bricks and mortar stores. Local SEO involves optimizing a website and its content for location-based searches, using keywords and content that target specific geographical areas.

Mobile Optimization

As mobile usage continues to grow, it's clear that businesses must prioritize mobile optimization and mobile SEO if they want to remain visible and competitive in search results. With more and more people turning to their smartphones and tablets to access the web, businesses that fail to adapt risk being left behind.


In conclusion, the data above shows a clear trend towards mobile usage over desktop usage when it comes to accessing the internet. The rise of mobile devices and mobile apps, combined with the convenience and portability of mobile search, has significantly impacted search behaviour and SEO. As mobile usage continues to grow, businesses must prioritize mobile optimization and SEO to remain visible and competitive in search results.






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