Cutts suggests mobile search may surpass PC search

Matt Cutts has suggested that 2014 may be the year in which mobile search queries outnumber PC searches.

Speaking at SMX West last week, Google's head of web spam, Cutts, said that he “wouldn't be surprised” if the switch occurred this year.

The comments, reported by Search Engine Land, were not elaborated on by the search engine or its representatives. It appears that Google is looking to ensure that it achieves cross-platform success, pushing its services across tablets, mobiles and desktops for as long as possible.

Within this, however, there are clear trends emerging. People are becoming increasingly comfortable carrying out tasks on their mobiles and tablets – such as online shopping – that they might previously have only carried out on a desktop.

The integration of online information into the physical world is also becoming more and more important as people grow to rely on their smartphones for information on the go.

There is still someway to go before mobile and desktop even out, but at the moment global mobile traffic makes up a sizeable 30 per cent of all internet activity, split 50/50 between mobiles and tablets. However, there are millions of mobile devices in use and their capabilities are growing.

It seems inevitable that mobile traffic will overtake desktop, it's more a matter of 'when' than 'if'. Google has already admitted that it is using mobile site optimisation as a factor in search ranking, but as mobile traffic grows this is likely to become increasingly important and any sites that continue to put off adapting could well be hit hard.

A recent report from ShopVisible, which revealed the traffic split between mobile and desktop, confirmed: “Although it's been a popular topic in eCommerce (and retail in general) for several years, many retailers have still been reluctant to invest in mobile-optimised versions of their sites.

“As smartphones continue to become more popular, sites must be equipped with a mobile version specifically made for the smaller screen.”

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