Google now gets more search queries from mobile devices than it does from PCs.
The company noted this milestone in mobile computing in a blog post on Tuesday.
"Billions of times per day, consumers turn to Google for I want-to-know, I want-to-go, I want-to-do, and I want-to-buy moments," wrote Jerry Dischler, Google's vice president of product management. "And at these times, consumers are increasingly picking up their smartphones for answers. In fact, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the U.S. and Japan."
That, he added, presents what he calls a "tremendous opportunity" for businesses to reach people through this new touchpoint.
The news about mobile search overshadowing desktop searches means we've officially entered a "mobile-first" world, according to Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research.
"Instead of using our PCs at home and augmenting them with mobile, we are mobile first, so no matter where we are or what we are doing we can find the information we need right then and there," he added. "The phrases "I'll take care of that when I get back to the office," or "I'll take care of that when I get home," have been eradicated from our vocabulary."
This week's announcement puts Google's recent mobile search changes into context.
Websites that aren't designed to run well and look good on mobile devices simply won't get good placement in search results -- neither on mobile devices nor on desktops.
"The fact that Google is prioritizing mobile sites means Google's ads need to be oriented around mobile," said Kerravala. "I think it is changing what Google does with ads, meaning ads are going to need to become more localized. So if I search for "fast food," don't put a Wendy's ad up if there are no Wendy's within 10 miles."
That idea of local advertising for mobile users is going to be critical, according to Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "This switch to mobile is pretty big. Advertisers, especially local advertisers, will start to pay attention."