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Yahoo has been making a major push on mobile, and according to data released in January 2015 by Merkle | RKG, traffic from mobile devices on the search engine has caught up to that on desktop in North America.
In Q4 2014, mobile accounted for half of Yahoo search traffic in North America, up from 32% in the same quarter of the prior year and 10 percentage points from Q2 2014. Throughout 2014, Yahoo led Google in terms of mobile’s share of search traffic, widening the gap from 3 percentage points in Q1 to 7 in Q4.
Unsurprisingly, Yahoo’s share of US mobile organic search traffic was nowhere near that of Google’s, at just 8.4% vs. 85.6% in Q4 2014. This was similar to Q4 2014 figures from StatCounter, which found that 86.0% of US mobile search referrals (excluding tablets) during the final quarter of last year were on Google, vs. 9.6% on Yahoo.
Mobile’s growing share of Yahoo traffic makes sense when one considers that an increasing number of consumers are running searches on such devices. eMarketer estimates that there will be 157.3 million US mobile phone search users in 2015—or 61.0% of mobile phone users and 49.0% of the population. By 2019, nearly two-thirds of consumers—or 215.8 million people and 78.8% of mobile phone users—will conduct a search via mobile browser or app at least monthly.
eMarketer expects Yahoo’s US mobile search ad revenues to rise steadily between 2015 and 2017, from $638.8 million to $1.07 billion. Yahoo reports that “39% of overall searches on Yahoo [are] coming from mobile devices,” and its Gemini platform offers mobile search and native ad buying to advertisers that want to engage specifically with mobile users.
As mobile search activity continues to expand on Yahoo, the ad dollars are following.
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