This survey sought key reasons for using search tools on mobile phones, as well as to identify the optimal placement of search boxes on the mobile home page. The study measured users’ satisfaction with current branded and non-branded search engines, and included a detailed comparison of search habits on both mobile and non-mobile platforms. The data clarify the motivators for using specific search engines on both platforms, and showed preferences for specific brands according to factors such as ease of use, quality/accuracy of results obtained, and speed.

service: Quantitative
completion date: July 2007


the approach: Customers of the mobile service provider received an invitation, via a company-branded e-mail, to participate in the survey. The survey was completed online over the course of four days, with a base of 1,452 participants. In order to assess the search tool placement preference and to better understand customers’ inclination for specific search engine brands, tool placement and brands were varied for different groups of participants. Brands of search engine included two widely used, well-known brands and one unnamed engine.
the results: The survey analyzed the frequency of search tool use among both PC/laptop and mobile users, and found a correlation between usage and brand preference; that is, more frequent search tool users displayed a clear preference for one specific, well-known brand, while infrequent or average searchers were inclined to prefer another brand among the ones tested. Among the criteria for using one search engine over another, the quality and accuracy of search results stood out as the most important factor for both PC/laptop users and mobile users. The study compares and quantifies the percentage of accurate results obtained with the two most used brands of search engine, both in PC/laptop and mobile settings. Further information includes a demographic breakdown of mobile phone searchers and insight on their frequency of use. Lastly, the study points out that mobile phone users desire to use search tools more often than they currently do, revealing a business development opportunity. The study concludes that placing a search tool for the proven national brand of search engine in the most effective, optimal location on the page would result in the highest-rated attributes and most frequent use.