Google recently released a new stat indicating the mobile searches for “best” has grown over 80% in the past two years. While most people would not be surprised by this, in other words, who doesn’t want the best? But Google went further into its research and found that “the best” isn’t always about finding the best item that exists in the world, but finding the best thing for the customer’s needs.

First, the rise for best is still continuing. And it isn’t on the big purchases. It is on the small things. Google reported strong growth in “best toothbrush” in the past couple of years. On a side note, Google is always one to through out research on toothbrushes, the best toothbrush search increase and they indicated there are more people with smart phones than toothbrushes. They must have a secret toothbrush division they are trying to boost!

In Google’s strive do dig into the increase in “best” searches, they sat down with Sara Kleinberg, Head of Ads Research, to find out what her team was finding. You can read the details of what Sara said. Below is the key points we took away:

  • Basic decisions on price, availability, quality and basic features are easy to do today
  • Deciding factor is often personal criteria that needs research. An example give was: “A taqueria 10 miles away might have 400 5-star reviews, but I’d be fine with a 4.5-star taqueria a stone’s throw away.”
  • They are looking for specific information. Example of it is not just “best shoes” it is “best shoes for standing all day.”
  • The reason for the increase in best searches is to generate their confidence in their purchase.
  • Consumers believe it saves time searching for the best to produce fewer items, with aggregated ranks/reviews.