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Olympic mobile searches reach new records, Google says

Not only is London 2012 the first social media Games, this year’s events have also seen record numbers of fans searching for Olympic-related news and information on mobile devices, according to statistics released by Google.

“It's clear that these are the first multi-screen Olympics, as users are engaging across TV, computers, smartphones and tablets, often at the same time!” marketing executives Dai Pham and Adam Grunewold wrote on the search giant’s Mobile Ads Blog.

During the Games’ first two days, Europeans made the highest number of mobile Google searches than any other continent, with more than a third of all Olympics-related searches in most European countries taking place through Google’s mobile site or mobile apps. Second screen viewing accounted for many of those searches, with users looking up extra information while watching events on television, Google said.

Unsurprisingly, the UK had the greatest number of Olympics-related mobile searches in Europe, with 46 per cent of Google queries in the Olympics’ host country taking place on mobile devices. The Netherlands was right on its tail, with 44 per cent of searches happening on smartphones and tablets. Germany and France were not far behind, with 30 per cent and 29 per cent each.

Japan had the most mobile-heavy searches in the world, with 55 per cent of its Olympic queries being carried out on smartphones and tablets. Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea trailed behind with 36 per cent of its Olympics searches channelled through mobile devices, respectively. China, despite its documented growth in mobile Internet, saw only 14 per cent of relevant searches happen on smartphones and tablets.

Google acknowledged that such second screening spikes in mobile search aren’t exclusive to the Olympics; other major events, like the Super Bowl, the Oscars, and the Eurovision contest, have also prompted bursts of growth in mobile searches.