Having the world’s information at your fingertips means more people are whipping out their phones to answer a question, rather than waiting until they’re in front of a computer to search.
“This summer, for the first time, we are getting more searches on mobile devices than on desktop,” Singhal said at the Code/Mobile in Half Moon Bay, California on Thursday.
Google is processing more than 100 billion searches a month, and mobile is now the majority. (That doesn’t include tablets either, which Singhal counts separately.) Google first announced that mobile had overtaken desktop in 10 countries in May 2015.
The rise of cell phones has changed how Google thinks about search.
“We think about three important things: mobile, mobile, and mobile,” Singhal said.
The company is focusing on efforts like Google Now, which notifies users with new information like a flight delay before they even type it into a search box.
“Google Now told me it would take me longer than usual to get here from my home in Palo Alto. Search tapped me on the shoulder and told me I should leave earlier,” Singhal said. “Clearly we don’t think only about the box anymore.”
Much of the rise of the mobile is happening outside of the US, and for many of those users, they don’t even own a desktop. Singhal said it’s a daily effort to think and prioritise how they’re going to bring search to the next five billion coming online.
“Search as we all know it, or as we know it 5 years back, is yesterday,” Singhal said.
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