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Data Tracker: In season, mobile search jumps

Periodically we report on mobile traffic to BoatTrader.com as a measure of the way boaters are using their mobile devices, and this month we can confirm what many readers would probably assume: More people than ever are using smart phones and tablets to search for boats. The iPhone has led this trend, and Boat Trader has a 2-year-old iPhone app.

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It has continued to grow in popularity, with searches running 20 to 60 percent higher each month than in the same month last year. Through October, 161,000 monthly unique visitors have conducted Boat Trader searches using the app.

In mid-2010, Boat Trader launched a mobile website (m.boattrader.com), to which anyone using a browser from a mobile device was automatically redirected. Use of that site has seen exceptional growth this year, especially because of the proliferation of smart phones using the Android operating system. Monthly unique visitors climbed to 65,000 by May, then doubled in June. Combined with those using the iPhone app, peak monthly traffic reached 185,000 unique visitors in July. Through the first 10 months of the year, the combination of iPhone app and mobile site visitors stood at 963,000. Interestingly, the gains in mobile search have not caused any drop in visitors to the BoatTrader.com website. It has attracted 16.6 million visitors during the same period, a net increase of close to 3 million from 2010.

This article originally appeared in the December 2011 issue.

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