Study: Smartphone Search Traffic Inches Up Again

Rhett Pardon

PITTSBURGH — Tuesday’s Google algorithm update is about to change the game for mobile, and a new study on consumer behavior hints that it’s the right decision.

According to a new report from Branding Brand's Mobile Commerce Index, 43 percent of all smartphone traffic came from search in the first quarter of 2015 — a five percent increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2014.

Google's new algorithm formula will favor websites that it defines as "mobile-friendly." Websites that don't fit the description will sink in Google's search results on smartphones and tablets while those meeting the criteria will be more likely to appear at the top of the rankings.

According to Branding Brand's report that mostly focuses on mainstream retailers, 27 percent of smartphone traffic arrived direct, 16 percent arrived from email and 14 percent arrived from referrals.

The report also revealed that Apple devices accounted for 59 percent of all smartphone visits in the first quarter of 2015. Visits from users running iOS 8 grew 30 percent, while iOS 7 dropped 42 percent compared to fourth quarter of 2014.

Branding Brand’s platform powers mobile websites and apps of more than 200 mainstream retailers worldwide. Its Branding Brand Mobile Commerce Index presented in the report is the largest collection of data on retail websites specifically designed for mobile devices.

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