Desktop Search Activity Hits All-Time High In March: 20+ Billion Searches [comScore]

comscore-logoGoogle dropped a few percentage points while Bing and Yahoo each gained a couple … but the bigger statistic from comScore’s monthly U.S. search rankings for March is that desktop search activity reached an all-time high.

The company’s latest report estimates that there were just under 20.4 billion searches during March — that’s desktop-only, and it’s an 11 percent increase from February. It’s also the first time comScore has ever estimated search activity be above 20 billion searches in a month. The previous record of 19.5 billion was set in January.

According to comScore’s measurement, core searches dropped for most of 2012. The March 2012 report pegged core search activity at about 18.4 billion searches, but that number fell to 16.4 billion by September. Here’s a chart of comScore’s reported figures for core search activity in the U.S. going back to January 2007 and including March 2013.


The 20.4 billion searches is a significant number because it doesn’t include mobile search. By all accounts, search is a popular and growing activity on mobile devices and was thought to be replacing desktop-based search. The comScore numbers should cause a rethinking on that point. (See the “related articles” below for more background on this.)

As for the actual search engine market share numbers, not much new to report there. Google dropped from 67.5 percent to 67.1 percent, while Bing and Yahoo both picked up a couple percentage points. That’s another record for Bing/Microsoft, too.


Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Stats: comScore | Stats: Popularity | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Richard Lum

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  • Travis Van Slooten

    Interesting stats…especially when we’ve been told that desktop searches would continue to decline (and replaced by mobile searches). Any ideas why desktop search is on the rise?

    Travis Van Slooten

  • Jose Capelo

    I think this is difficult to believe, I came across a few studies indicating pricesily the opposite. The latest news was the significant rise of mobile searches due to its convinience, and the inminent decline of desktop searches.

  • Tom Blue – Lead411

    It did look suspicious at first to me too. But maybe mobile searches aren’t replacing desktop searches… maybe people are just searching more period?

  • Anne Goulding

    “Google dropped a few percentage points while Bing and Yahoo each gained a couple … but the bigger statistic from comScore’s monthly U.S. search rankings for March is that desktop search activity reached an all-time high.” If this is really true, it’s really interesting. Throughout the last year, many statistics were published, showing the decline of desktop search and the rise of mobile search and now this? I mean, it may be true that mobile search isn’t replacing desktop search and instead it is just a complement – meaning people are just searching more and thus the “all-time-high” in searches. But then again, this is just my hypothesis.

  • Guest

    I think relatively mobile searches have increased. They’ve not yet replaced desktop searches yet. Rise in searches might have pushed desktop searches.

  • Ashish Kavi

    I think relatively mobile searches have increased. They’ve not yet replaced desktop searches. Rise in searches might have pushed desktop searches too. Just what I feel may not be correct :)

  • Jon Campbell

    Considering that mobile searches are up 26% YoY, and based on these numbers, desktop search is only up 11% YoY, I think it’s safe to assume that mobile search is still growing at a fast rate and replacing many desktop searches. For all we know, mobile searches may have reached an all-time high as well in March.

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