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Mobile web views overtake desktop for first time

October was a big month for the mobile web: for the first time, more websites were viewed on mobile devices than on desktop computers, according to web analytics firm StatCounter.

In an analysis of global internet usage figures, StatCounter found that mobile devices and tablets accounted for 51.3 per cent of internet usage worldwide in October compared to 48.7 per cent by desktop.

“This should be a wake up call especially for small businesses, sole traders and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly. Many older websites are not,” StatCounter’s CEO Aodhan Cullen said.

As Cullen pointed out, businesses that haven’t yet optimised their websites for mobile devices should do so, not only because it’s more convenient for users, but also because Google favours mobile sites in search results.

It should be noted, however, that the mobile-desktop divide varies by country, and desktop is still the primary mode of internet usage in mature markets like the US, UK and Australia. Users in less mature markets are the ones tipping the scale globally towards mobile. In India, for instance, 75 per cent of internet usage is through mobile devices.

But even in mature markets, mobile adoption is rising. While mobile devices accounted for 37.8 per cent of internet usage in Australia in October 2015, that figure jumped to 44.9 per cent last month.

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