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Not only do the majority of Americans now own a smartphone, but they are also spending an increasing number of minutes on mobile devices each day. One thing mobile owners are using their devices for is search; here’s what recent data [download page] from Merkle illustrates about mobile search in Q3 2019.

In Merkle’s analysis of a sample of their North American clients, mobile devices (phones and tablets) accounted for 60% of organic search visits in the third quarter of 2019. Mobile devices also accounted for 69% of paid search clicks in the same quarter.

The search engine DuckDuckGo appears to be benefiting from increased mobile traffic. Indeed, mobile devices accounted for 65% share of DuckDuckGo’s organic search visits, slightly higher than the corresponding percentage (64%) for Google and the highest of the 4 search engines analyzed.

What could be causing this change? More than a year ago, a study from Ipsos found that nearly 3 in 5 of internet users in North America believed that search engines had too much power. The same study found that search engines have an influence over purchase decisions. More recent research shows that marketers are expecting data protection, privacy and regulations to be one of the biggest trends in search in the coming year.

As more internet users become concerned about privacy, it’s possible that more are making a shift towards DuckDuckGo, which does not allow for tracking or share information about users’ searches.

DuckDuckGo also appears to be gaining in its share of total mobile organic search visits in the US. In Q3, it accounted for 0.8% share of organic search visits via mobile, up from 0.4% in Q2. While this share is minuscule compared to Google’s 95%, it’s worth noting that DuckDuckGo’s share is now half the size of Bing.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: “Figures are derived from samples of Merkle clients who have worked with Merkle for each marketing channel. Where applicable, these samples are restricted to those clients who 1) have maintained active programs with Merkle for at least 19 months, 2) have not significantly changed their strategic objectives or product offerings, and 3) meet a minimum ad-spend threshold. All trended figures presented in this report represent same-site changes over the given time period. Unless otherwise specified, the data points in this report are derived from the North American market region.”

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