What are people looking at on mobile?

Mobile Commerce have published a short white paper on mobile search snappily entitled ‘Mobile Search: What are people searching for and how do they search for it’ which shows how mobile search affects search bidding, natural mobile internet and web results and shows how mobile sites can be monetised by adding a search box and it’s well worth a quick look.

The white paper first looks at what affects search on mobile, and the answer is pretty much everything from time of day through to what’s on tele. Which, is exactly what you would expect from a device that is constantly with you.

According to the report;

  • Date and time are also strong drivers of search terms e.g. The Boat Race, The Grand National and The Eurovision Song Contest.
  • TV is also an influential driver of search terms and searches – The X Factor, Big Brother, Dancing on Ice all generate significant numbers of searches but only when the program is showing. These terms tend to last for a few weeks increasing dramatically towards the final episode and then disappear until the following season.
  • Events are another driver of search terms – every time Joe Calzage fought the number of people looking for information on the fight rose.
  • News also drives searches – the death of a celebrity always leads to searches as people look for information. 2010 has seen a leap in the number of searches for Malcolm McLaren following his recent death.

What actually gets searched? The top 20 most searched terms of 2009 were

1. Facebook
2. Google
3. Bebo
4. Youtube
5. www.facebook.com
6. Ebay
7. Ebuddy
8. Facebook.com
9. Hotmail
10. MSN
11. Yahoo
12. Lottery
13. You Tube
14. Face Book
15. Flirtomatic
16. Free Games
17. Yahoo Mail
18. Plenty of Fish
19. Google.com
20. twitter

Interestingly there are 4 different ways of accessing Facebook, and 2 ways for Google and YouTube.

To view the White Paper in full, see


Mobile Commerce handles over 25% of the searches coming from the 17.38m Mobile Internet users via UK operator portals, plus a growing number of other portals seeking to monetise their mobile assets. In total dealing with a quarter of a billion searches per annum, and that figure is doubling each year.