Business owners often ask me how to get to #1 in Google. The answer is sometimes shocking to them. There is no longer a #1 in Google.

The reality is that there is a different search result for every person. What they see depends on their previous search history, current location, if they are on desktop or mobile and a whole lot of other factors.

Nearly 40% of people search only on a smartphone in an average day as they look to meet immediate needs. As a result of this shift, more Google searches are happening on smartphones than computers. - Google Research

Google’s job is to deliver the best answer to the your question that they possibly can. If they fail to do that, you’d be likely to start looking elsewhere for your answers wouldn’t you?

It’s no surprise that they spend an awful lot of time looking at what, when, why, where, and how people search. They are always analyzing intent and context. They customize the results searchers see based on any one of those factors above. See this slide from Google’s research to get some context behind the “Why”.

Understanding how people actually search is a key element to the answer to the question. Many searches start on mobile and are upgraded to computer depending on their level of complexity.

Here are some more of Google’s takeaways from their latest research:

  1. We live in a mobile-first world: In an average day, more than 1/4 of all users only use a smartphone, which is nearly 2X as many as those who only use a computer.
  2. We freely move back and forth between devices to get things done: Over half of users rely on more than one type of device in an average day, with 1/5 of them using another device while concurrently using a computer.
  3. Where we are influences how we use our devices: The top three places people use their smartphones are home, work, and in a store.
  4. Search has gone mobile: Of those who search, nearly 4 in 10 search only on a smartphone in an average day.
  5. The web is one of our most used resources: Of those who browse the web in an average day, almost half do so on multiple devices. More than 7 in 10 users browse the web on their phones or computers in an average day.

Source: How People Use Their Devices