New! Search data reveal that when the sun goes down, the tablets come out

Monday, September 26, 2011 | 10:56 AM

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Are you reading this post from your PC at work, from your mobile phone as you wait in line at a cafe or from your tablet at home before bed?  The screen a user chooses to engage with is largely driven by context and users are matching their device type to their situation.  At Google Mobile Ads, we’re interested in the way the proliferation of these screens is impacting user behavior, especially search behavior.  We looked separately at searches from tablets, PCs and mobile devices.  The data show that during the workday users are searching from their computers and they use smartphones steadily throughout the day with a lift during commute time and in the evening.  Tablet usage spikes dramatically in the evening.  While both tablets and mobile are portable devices that can be used in a variety of places, this data points to the fact that tablets are used primarily at home as “lean back” devices while sitting on the couch, whereas smartphone devices may be used in a similar way but are also used in the office and on-the-go throughout the day. 

Google Internal Data 2011. % of each platform's traffic shown hourly for one day. Does not indicate absolute or relative traffic volumes.
If you’re an advertiser, you might be wondering which is the best screen to reach your customers on. The answer is: all of them. These screens are better together. Each screen fills a specific need state consumers have for information at different, complementary points in the day.  Failing to invest in any of these three digital screens not only leaves the door open for competitors to engage with your customers, but also could mean a missed opportunity for brand awareness and sales either on the device itself or through driving potential customers into your place of business.  

Posted by Johanna Werther, Product Marketing Manager, Mobile Ads