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Mobile search focuses on smut

Unless you've got a PDA...

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Mobile users search Google for porn while PDA users are more likely to be looking for local services.

People using mobiles to access content were most likely to search for adult items - just under 20 per cent of all searches were for adult content. But PDA users were most likely to search for local services - searches for adult content made up under five per cent of all queries.

Researchers noted that the proportion of pornographic queries declined by 50 per cent from 1997 to 2000. They said: "The high percentage of pornographic queries may be on a declining curve...Also, we speculate that people may feel more comfortable querying adult terms on private devices. Anecdotally, we have observed that users often consider their cell phone as a very personal and private device..".

If mobile searches follow the evolution of desktop searching then porn should decline over time.

Entertainment came second with under ten per cent of all queries by mobile users and under five per cent of queries from PDA users.

The average number of words in a typical search was similar for mobile search as for desktop search.

The two researchers, Maryam Kamvar, a PhD student supervised by Shumeet Baluja, looked at a million search queries made to Google mobile. They divided qeries into those made to Google's XHTML site and to its PDA site. PDA searches were only 20 per cent of XHTML searches. The searches were all made in one month of 2005.

More details from ArsTechnica here and here.®

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