In the past year, comScore has de-emphasized its search market share and mobile market share reports. Part of the reason is that the numbers don’t change that much anymore.
In addition, for reasons that remain mysterious, the measurement firm has declined to present a consolidated view of the search marketplace that includes both desktop and mobile. Mobile search is now both larger and, in many respects, more important than desktop search.
Below are the most recent comScore PC search market share and query volume figures for December 2016:
Across the board, desktop search queries are down vs. November. Google’s overall share remains basically stable at 63 percent (plus). Microsoft continues its slow growth on the PC, while the others continue their slow declines. It’s worth noting again that Bing powers search results for AOL, Yahoo, Siri + Spotlight search and Amazon, which is not reflected above.
On mobile devices it’s mostly a story about Google, however. According to data from StatCounter, Google controls about 95 percent of mobile search query volume on a global basis. Even if this number is not entirely accurate — some people are critical of StatCounter data — it’s beyond dispute that Google has a massive lead in mobile search.
Global Smartphone Search Market Share (StatCounter)
We know from Google itself that at least 50 percent of its global query volume is now from mobile devices. The number varies by category but is probably closer to 60 percent overall.
If we assume that the comScore PC query volume figures are accurate, Google had roughly 15 billion desktop searches in the US this past December. If so, Google is seeing at least 15 billion more from US mobile devices, which is partly how the company is able to keep generating strong financial results even as desktop queries are flat.
At the end of last year, according to comScore, smartphone penetration among mobile phone owners passed 80 percent. That means there are now more than 200 million smartphone in the US, which is probably a conservative number.
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