Google holds both the number 1 and number 2 slots in a ranking of search engines on the iPhone, accounting for an estimated 97 percent of all searches, according to figures from ad network Chitika. The firm looked at search volume on the iPhone and found that Google has search pretty much locked up, with 49.08 percent of searches coming through the Safari tool bar, 42.24 percent coming from its home page and other minor sources and 8.68 percent from its dedicated Google app. If you count the app and the regular search as two sources, Google has both of the top two search engines on the iPhone.
The numbers aren’t completely accurate with respect to Bing, which is hard to track because it doesn’t offer referral URLs. Chitika estimates that Bing searches through its app, its home page and through its access to the Safari tool bar represent anywhere from 1-4 percent of searches on the iPhone.
This suggests that Yahoo and Microsoft are having a tough time dislodging Google from its top spot or even duplicating their current success in desktop searches on mobile. With mobile searches only expected to grow, it supports Google’s move to launch Google Instant on phones soon, giving the company yet another edge in facilitating mobile searches. It also points out how valuable the toolbar search engine is. Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land said less than 20 percent of searches happen through a PC tool bar.
Apple has said it’s not interested in being a search provider, despite some speculation that its purchase of Siri could help Apple provide search. It’ll be interesting to see if Apple ever looks to play a bigger role in search, as it’s surely bringing in a pile of money for Google. Google said on its latest earnings call that mobile revenue, primarily mobile search, is a $1 billion business, while mobile search queries are up 500 percent.
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