Google: Olympics-related mobile searches skyrocketing

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Olympics-related searches on smartphones and tablets increased 10 times worldwide during the first week of the 2012 games compared to the previous week, according to new data published by Google (NASDAQ:GOOG).

"As users watch TV, or watch their laptops at work, they're searching for information about athletes, sports, events and records on their tablets and smartphones," explained Google Mobile Ads Marketing execs Dai Pham and Adam Grunewald. "In fact, at some moments during the Games, there have been more searches performed on tablets and smartphones than on computers."

Case in point: Paul McCartney's performance of the Beatles' classic "Hey Jude" during the London opening ceremony. "Whether watching the Olympics at home on TV or on a desktop livestream, or at a bar with friends, users searched on one screen for things they saw happening on another screen," Pham and Grunewald said. "Comparing searches by device type, smartphone searches surged, and in the U.S., viewers were searching almost as much on their tablets as on their computers for Paul McCartney."

Japan led all nations in Olympics-related mobile search activity during the first two days of the games, with 55 percent of all queries entered on smartphones and tablets. The U.S. follows at 47 percent, trailed by the U.K. (46 percent), Australia (45 percent) and the Netherlands (44 percent).

mobile olympics

Click the image above to zoom in on the chart.

Google adds that mobile searches on tablets surpassed smartphone-based queries in many island nations, including the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands. "A possible explanation? Large numbers of tablet-toting tourists on summer vacation," Pham and Grunewald theorize. "Tablets have emerged as an important way of staying informed and connected for travelers, as well as for finding local information."

For more:
- read this Google Mobile Ads Blog entry

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