Mobile, tablet web browsing overtakes desktop first time in 7 years

  • “Google favours mobile-friendly websites for its mobile search results.”

Smartphones and tablets web browsing has overtaken desktop browsing for the first time just as desktop web browsing traffic shrinks to 48.7%, according to statcounter data.

The data say mobile devices are used more than traditional computers for browsing, while smartphone and tablet web browsing overtook desktop.

Mobile web browsing has been steadily growing since 2009, while the desktop’s share of web traffic has steadily decreased.

The Global Stats of internet usage worldwide by StatCounter spans through October 2009 to October 2016, a period of seven years.

Photo credit:statcounter
Photo credit:statcounter

Mobile and tablet web browsing overtook desktop web browsing by 2.6%. That’s 51.3% against 48.7%  according to the 2016 data from web analytics firm StatCounter.

Chief executive of StatCounter Aodhan Cullen said, “This should be a wake up call especially for small businesses, sole traders and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly. Many older websites are not.

“Mobile compatibility is increasingly important not just because of growing traffic but because Google favours mobile-friendly websites for its mobile search results.”

Despite following a similar downward trend, “the desktop is still the primary mode of internet usage in mature markets such as the US and UK.”

Photo credit:statcounter
Photo credit:statcounter

In the UK, the desktop accounts for 55.6% of browsing, 58% in the US and 55.1% in Australia, according to StatCounter, but it seems only a matter of time before they follow the global trend, with mobile taking the majority of web browsing.

Google identified the trend towards mobile browsing several years ago and has since accelerated the shift with changes to its search favouring mobile. It began ranking sites within its search index by mobile accessibility in 2015 and recently made a change making mobile search potentially more up to date than desktop.

At the same time, PC sales have been in decline for years, while smartphones have reached at least 80% saturation within most developed markets and have become the sole point of access to the internet for many in developing nations.

About StatCounter

StatCounter Global Stats data is based on over 15billion page views per month to over 2.5 million websites.

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