Study: Apple’s iOS And Mac Platforms Drive The Most Search Requests; Linux the Least, Says Chitika

Google is the undisputed search giant at the moment, with some 92 percent of all searches passing through its engines worldwide at the moment. But when it comes to what browsers seem to be driving the most search queries, Google’s platforms, surprisingly, are not in the lead.

According to research out today from the ad network Chitika, when analyzing web browsing traffic, Apple’s iOS mobile platform drives the highest proportion of search queries: 54 percent of all iOS web traffic is devoted to search, the company says. Its Macintosh OS is the second-most search-friendly: some 48 percent of all web traffic on Macs is in the form of search queries. Both are well above the average percentage of search queries across all major platforms, which stands at 36 percent, says Chitika.

And although you would have thought that Google would have optimized Android to be as search-focused as possible, it only places third on the list, with 43 percent of all web traffic on the Android platform dedicated to search queries.

Similarly, Microsoft, which has been trying hard to get its Bing searches to break through the Google stronghold, is actually only seeing 32 percent of web traffic on its platform dedicated to searches.

Linux sees the smallest number of searches of all at 14 percent. And while Chitika doesn’t answer why Google and Microsoft’s platforms are not seeing as many search queries as Apple’s, it does have a possible explanation for why Linux rates the lowest: “Linux devices tend to be used for operational and development purposes.” I guess developers don’t need to search as much as average consumers.

This theory might explain the lower numbers on Windows, too: Microsoft’s OS has huge traction among enterprises and they may be using their browsers less for searching and more for applications than other platforms.

And extrapolating this even further, this could also explain why Apple is doing so well: although Apple is making some headway into the consumer market, it’s first and foremost popular with consumers, who in Chitika’s view seem to drive more search queries than those using browsers for professional purposes.

Chitika’s numbers are not only an insight into how certain platforms do (or don’t) drive search queries, but the data has a direct relevance to how marketers manage online campaigns, and specifically which platforms they may focus more of their efforts.

But as with all data from ad networks you should take the results with a good-sized grain of salt — a Google AdSense analysis, for example, may well throw out a very different picture of online activity.

Chitika, which says that it analyses hundreds of millions of ad impressions on its network to mine this data, also provides some figures on how local search — for local services or news, for example — is faring as a percentage of all searches. Here, too, Apple’s mobile iOS scored the highest, with 36 percent of all searches on the platform dedicated to local results. It ties with Linux, also at 36 percent, with Android at 28 percent.

Unsurprisingly, the platforms more likely to be tied to physical locations, Macintosh and Windows, see a lower proportion of their searches focused on local results, at 23 percent and 19 percent respectively.

[Image Kara Allyson, Flickr]