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Video: Organic Mobile Search and Social Referrals

Next up in our Digital Marketing Report Q4 2013 video lineup, we’re going to cover some key findings in mobile organic search and social referral traffic trends. While a portion of our findings are too be expected, you may be surprised by some of the trends we’re seeing. As always, to get all the latest research on trends in search marketing and social, download the complete Q4 2013 Digital Marketing Report.



VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Matt Mierzejewski: Hi, this is Matt Mierzejewski, and I’m going to promise you a short one-minute video on two topics from our most recent Digital Marketing Report that RKG has put out. Two topics are on mobile organic search, as well as social referral traffic trends that we’re seeing in the past quarter.

So let’s start with the organic search engine traffic share. When we look at Google, not surprisingly, they lead the poll position. They have 85 percent of total smart phone and tablet traffic. That surprises no one, I’m sure. Yahoo is at ten percent and Bing at five percent. What’s interesting, though, is that Google one year ago had 90 percent of the search market for smart phones and tablets, and so there’s a decrease there, and Yahoo’s really taking up much of the share.

When we look at the user preference for smart phone and tablets versus desktop and laptop, we see that now 32 percent of all Google traffic is going toward smart phone and tablet devices, which has been on the rise over the past few years. Yahoo is close behind, at 30 percent of their traffic to smart phone and tablets, but Bing is only at 14 percent, so they’re far behind the game, and that’s pretty interesting given all the buzz in the past year about the Surface, which has kind of fallen flat.

When we look at mobile traffic on the whole, it’s obviously on the rise. This past year has seen tremendous growth, as expected. In Q3, we saw 45 percent growth from one year prior, and in this past quarter, we’ve seen 28 percent growth. So while it’s slowing quarter-to-quarter, year-over-year, we still are seeing quite a bit of increase in mobile traffic share.

Let’s change gears a little bit and talk about social. What we tend to look at is how much referral traffic social networks can drive to external websites, advertisers, and so forth. And when we look at that, Facebook clearly is leading the lion share of the social referring visits, at 57 percent in this past quarter. The next closest is Pinterest, which is under ten percent, for comparison, so no surprise that Facebook is the lion share of the social network, referring traffic to external websites.

When we look inside that a little bit, we see that inside of device-specific statistics, 31 percent of referrals are coming from smart phone and tablets, and that’s an increase from 18 percent from Q4 of 2012, so year-over-year has seen quite an increase. To me, that speaks to the network’s ability to put good visibility into external websites and users engaging with those placements on social networks, on smart phones, to actually leave Facebook and other social networks and go to the external website.

So we’ll keep watching that trend, but the fact that that’s on par with desktop and laptop share for mobile devices is very interesting to us and something that we’re looking at. And you can get much more information by downloading the full digital marketing report at rimmkaufman.com.

  • Matthew Mierzejewski
    Matthew Mierzejewski is EVP of SEO at RKG.
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