For the last decade, search engines have been internet users’ best friends, making any question that comes to mind immediately addressable with the best relevant answers.

Developments in technology have made search engine results more qualified and useful, leading to a rapidly growing demand for their use. Chitika Insights decided to take a look into search traffic trends depending on the operating system.

The research team looked at hundreds of millions of impressions between April 8 and 14 and broke down traffic depending on operating system, search traffic, and the type of search query.

Chitika Insights also made sure to identify local searches vs. non-local searches. The team found that 54% of iOS web traffic is devoted to search, as opposed to the 36% Internet average.

Macintosh desktops and laptops came in second with 48% of internet traffic being search traffic. Linux came in last place.

One notable operating system result – Apple users as a whole search quite a bit more than others.

“Apple users as a whole search quite a bit more than others” – Chitika Insights

While 36% of Internet traffic comes from search engines on average, for iOS devices this rate goes up to 54%. Apple desktops and laptops follow iOS with a 48% rate of search traffic.

Android devices also stay above the average search rate with 43%.

On the other hand, Linux devices appear to have the lowest interest in search engines with only a 14% search rate. After Linux, Windows users are the second-least likely group to utilize search engines with 32%.


The reason for low interest in search traffic for Linux devices can potentially be explained by the operating system’s nature. Linux devices tend to be used for operational and development purposes.

Looking at local search data (e.g. for services or points of interest), the results were surprising. Linux was actually tied with iOS in first place for local searches as a percentage of overall search engine traffic. Mac operating systems came in last here.

Understanding user search preferences can help marketers better tailor their online offerings. Search engine marketing (SEM) and other Web initiatives depend on knowing which operating system is likely to be used by a product’s target market.

By customizing marketing efforts to be where more prospective customers are looking, increased sales and interest follow. Stay tuned to Chitika Insights for further reports on search traffic.

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