Fans have been turning to smartphones and tablets for Olympics-related information in record numbers, according to statistics released by Google yesterday, with Europeans making a higher proportion of mobile Google searches than inhabitants of any other continent. Writing on the company's Mobile Ads Blog — which means these self-serving figures shouldn't be taken entirely at face value — marketing execs Dai Pham and Adam Grunewald describe how, in most European countries, more than a third of relevant Google searches occurred through the mobile site or mobile apps over the first two days of the Games. Many of these can be attributed to "second screen" viewing, with users searching for extra information and detail while watching events on television.
The prize for the most mobile-centric country goes to Japan, which saw 55 percent of its Olympic Google search volume channelled through portable devices. By contrast, nearby China saw an equivalent figure of just 14 percent. One interesting trend pointed out in Google's post is the presumed popularity of tablets among holidaymakers — in holiday destinations such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, Olympic searches from tablets actually exceeded those from mobile, though we imagine the sample size was relatively limited compared to larger markets in Europe and Asia.