Home » Google » Mobile vs Desktop Search Results

When asked what the characteristic distinctions between Mobile and Desktop search results, there are a bunch of little divergences that come to mind, but we’ll cover three main subjects today. Because mobile user searches are headed to top those of desktop, the search engines understand that they need to keep a close eye on what those users want and need. That’s where these next topics come into play.

The Searching User’s Intent

Through research, it has been found that desktop search objective tends to be going after lengthy answers and are ready to spend the time to research a topic.

In comes the mobile users who, for most intents and purposes, are more in search of a short and in the moment type of solution. Mobile search users are high up on the list for “what is near me?”. Someone out-and-about searching on their smartphone tends to have a more immediate need for fast info.


How people can physically search varies between desktop and mobile as well. Mobile provides more swiping movement and the ability to easily move horizontally which comes in handy when you have a small screen. But back at home on the desktop with more screen real estate, you are able to have a bunch of mouse scrolling fun.

Another mobile functionality that is gaining tons of traction – Voice Search. Although available on desktop, mobile reigns in this area. As more and more people become comfortable with this function, other interesting differences come up — such as the keywords used to find a website. People tend to be more succinct and brusque in manner when typing in a search i.e. “maui coffee shop” vs asking your phone “where can I get a supper mocha frappa ding dong NOW?”.

Search Result Appearance

When you consider the functionality and screen size differences between mobile and desktop, it’s no wonder there is a deviation in the way search results are displayed on the two. A few examples :

  • Mobile search results will not only tell you if a site is mobile-friendly, it offers those sites a boost.
  • Mobile results will also tend to give you more local related information over desktop search — so you can quickly call a plumber to fix the faucet or map that new restaurant you want to try out.
  • When shopping, you may notice a lot more product image results on mobile. Even going so far as to help you refine your search by price, material, etc.
  • For desktop search, related searches are at the bottom as opposed to the related search suggestions at the top of Mobile results.

Mobile is here to stay and it’s only gaining market share as time goes on. I’ll stress it again, as I have in the past, it’s very important to prepare your websites and online presence in general for the mobile user.