Google: 62 Percent Of Valentine’s Day Restaurant Searches Were Mobile

Google is releasing some data on mobile search and Valentine’s Day. The company said, “A whopping 62 percent of total searches for popular national chain restaurants [in the US] on Valentine’s Day occurred on high end mobile devices or tablets.”

One more time: 62 percent of all US-based national chain restaurant queries were coming from mobile devices.

Google focused on national restaurant chains because it could disambiguate and identify them as such. It could well be that the 62 percent figure extends across the entire restaurant category.

Restaurant chain searches leading up to Valentine’s Day

Google told me that it sometimes can’t tell what’s a restaurant search and what’s not. For example, someone searching for “radicchio” or “papaya” might be looking for a restaurant, recipes or nutrition facts. By contrast, Google knows for sure that Morton’s or McCormick & Schmick are restaurants.

Google also reported last-minute searches for flower-related terms grew 227 percent during the same week leading up to Valentine’s Day. On the day itself “Consumers were 560% more likely to click to make a call week over week.  And mobile clicks to get directions increased 514% over the same period as people were scrambling to find a nearby florist.”

Google also graphed click to call actions hour by hour on V-Day itself (w/in California), with an early peak at 8:30 am(ish) and another one during the lunch hour.

Click to call pattern on Valentine’s Day (California data)

Google also saw tablet queries rise on the weekend before Valentine’s Day. That’s consistent with tablet usage patterns, which are heavier on the weekends and during the evening. Last-minute searches went to PCs and smartphones.

Google uses the data to make the valid point that if your business (florist, restaurant, etc.) wasn’t optimized for mobile you might have missed out on some meaningful revenue opportunities.

In a related vein, Google also offered an instructive case study involving 1-800-Flowers, which recently redesigned its mobile site and saw an immediate gain in engagement and conversions.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Google: Maps & Local | Google: Mobile | Google: Web Search | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • davep

    Good news for Google – they really cream off the local search traffic from mobiles, even more outrageously than they do on desktop search!

  • Greg Sterling


  • Bryson Meunier

    Wow. I thought the 30% number was impressive for the restaurant category, but this takes the cake (sorry, unintentional pun). Unfortunately there are still restaurants (eating at this one tonight: whose sites will be accessed and ignored by these mobile and tablet searchers, as they have all their content in Flash. Thanks for getting the word out though. Hopefully more businesses will be convinced of the mobile opportunity as a result, and start to optimize their sites appropriately.

  • Manoj Pallai

    May be I was one of them :)

  • B.Y.

    This compounds the case for local SEO. The question is how soon do you think this 62 percent number will become more common on a non-holiday?

    It also shows how last minute people are for their valentines.

  • Bobby Gaglini

    I saw this first-hand. I went out to a nicer (non-chain) restaurant on Valentine’s Day and saw couple after couple get told that there was a two hour wait if they had not made a reservation. Most of them turned to their phones as soon as they heard the unfortunate news.

    That’s probably the reason for the spike. We’re using our phones to SOLVE our problems, when we have the ability to PREVENT the problems in the first place!

  • Nathan Safran

    Hmm. It’s an interesting stat but the searches they are looking at are hyper-specific (‘popular national chain restaurants’) and its not all that surprising that that large a % of restaurant searches are mobile…

  • Rajit Singha

    It’s a sign of revolution of mobile age…………….

  • Rebecca Morrow

    I tried to set up a seminar in Birmingham for local restaurants that hit on the importance of social media, web development and how accessible their menus are online. Our response was nil to none and the typical reason was that they felt that their website were already doing great or they didn’t know why they even bothered with them.

    I have been saying it for years now to quit with the Flash, get a good online presence and make your site visible across as many platforms as you can. I can’t tell you how many times I will pass going to a restaurant if I can’t find their information online. This now solidifies what I have been saying and I hope that people will wake up.

    I got so tired of losing the paper menu of one of my favorite places that I finally just put their entire menu, hours and location on a WordPress site. I told them one day that they had a website and if they ever wanted it, to just simply let me know. That was last year. I still haven’t heard anything.

    I simply hope that restaurants will start to understand that as the rest of the world continues to move forward around them that they will start to move with technology, too.

  • Dennis Buechau

    Mobile applications are more and more attractive also for publisher! I found lot of articles at Think this is a future market!

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