Google adds new “shortcuts”

Posted on the 30th June 2011

Three years since they launched mobile search, Google is seeing more searches from mobile than they did three years into their desktop search offering. The focus on mobile and the identification of this as an area that Google will clearly be trying to promote and innovate around in the coming months.

Some of the key insights that Google revealed regarding user behaviour and mobile search were:

  • Mobile search does not exhibit the same trends as desktop search.
  • Although desktop search tends to dip heavily during the weekend (particularly on Friday and Saturday), this does not reflect a drop in our “need for knowledge”.
  • Mobile search surges on Fridays and Saturdays thus suggesting that people are still searching a great deal on the weekends, but are searching from different locations and with a different context.
  • Mobile search does not appear to show the same “Christmas calm or summer slumps” in terms of quantity of searches as we have seen on desktop search.
  • Mobile is still growing, and growing faster than desktop search (which tailed off after the first three years of Google desktop search)

As a result of the aforementioned trends Google has been looking really closely at mobile and local search of late and released two features today which help advance it’s standing in these areas.

Google added new “shortcuts” to frequently searched local categories like restaurants, bars, coffee shops, on the mobile Google homepage. Choosing these icons will send the visitor to a results page which displays a map with markers of the users present location as well as all other close places.

Users will be able to spool through the results while the map remains “Stuck” to the top of the page and will change according to the listing being looked at. Other Places directories, like ATMs, fast food, and gas stations, can also be searched locally.