Mobile Search explored the differences in searcher behavior and search results on mobile devices versus desktop platforms. Columnists provided tips for mobile SEO and SEM campaigns while uncovering the latest trends and technology employed by smartphone and tablet applications to deliver real-time search results to mobile device users. Mobile Search no longer runs as a standalone column on Search Engine Land and has since been incorporated into the Mobile Marketing column on Marketing Land.

The Most Popular App Store Keywords From Chomp & Google Play

SEOs focusing on Web search may have had a Panda update and an EMD update at the beginning of October, but SEOs focusing on mobile and app search have had their own share of turmoil in the last few months. In February, there was a major spam crackdown by Apple which resulted in many developers being banned from the app store for things like auto reviews. At the end of June, there was a small ranking change which weighed keywords less heavily and focused on ratings and downloads. Last month, there was iOS 6, which transformed the app store rankings into a horizontal scrolling card di [...]

iPhone 5 Won’t Change Mobile Search, But Can Nokia?

With the launch of the iPhone 5, perhaps the most eagerly awaited electronics launch ever, speculation has been rampant on the impact it'll have on the mobile phone market, on Apple's future as an innovator post-Steve Jobs, and on the coolness of the next gadget to get dropped into your pocket. But from a mobile search perspective, iPhone 5 is pretty much more of the same. A more effective version of Siri will be standard in the new phone's iOS 6 - but that was a game changer from the iPhone 4s. iPhone 5 has certainly caused a sales storm, pushing more smartphones into more pockets. B [...]

What You Need To Know About Smartphone Icons In Google Mobile Search

Last month, I talked about the 16 differences between smartphone search results and desktop search results, which may have been a surprise to those of you who always assumed they were the same. Today, I’m going to go into detail on number fourteen on that list: Smartphone Icons in Google Smartphone Search. What do they look like? When do they appear? How do webmasters get them? If you haven’t seen them before, they appear next to the URL in Google smartphone search. Here, you can see them in the organic listings for both the second and fourth visible listings on the page:   [...]

10 Simple Tips For Effective Mobile SEO

There is little doubt that mobile search is the hot topic in the SEO world at the moment. Some brands are now finding that more than 30 percent of all searches come from mobile devices, according to Mobile Marketer. It’s fair to say that mobile search is quickly moving out of the Stone Age and into the digital age. That's the premise of a new insight paper, Mobile SEO Best Practices, published recently by my company, MediaWhiz (disclosure: I lead MediaWhiz's search marketing and digital strategy divisions). In addition to a list of our top-10 tips for effective mobile SEO, the paper offers [...]

Is Mobile Search Taking Over The Restaurant Space?

In the last few months, there's increasing evidence that mobile search activity for restaurants is growing by leaps and bounds. Consider the following: Yelp recently shared that mobile usage now accounts for 40% of their activity, up from 27% in 2010. According Groupon's CEO, 30% of all transactions on Groupon’s platform are now attributed to mobile device use, and those usage levels have tripled in just one year. Given these trends, it's very likely that we'll see restaurant search hit the tipping point in the next 12 months, with more mobile-based activity than desktop-based. Key [...]

16 Differences Between Google Mobile & Desktop Search Results In 2012

Google continues to differentiate mobile results from desktop search results, having recently announced interactive answers for tablet and mobile and a test for smartphone icons in smartphone search results. Did you even know that Google mobile search results (whether tablet, feature phone or smartphone) can be different from desktop results? In May of last year, I shared 14 ways they’re different. This year some differences have disappeared and others have taken their place, but in all, there are at least 16 known differences between Google smartphone results and Google desktop result [...]

Mobile & The Disintermediation Of Traditional Search

2012 is the year of mobile. Or is it 2013? Or maybe it was supposed to be 2011. Regardless of the calendar year that we’ll end up attributing the explosion of growth to, the mobile tide has been on the rise for some time. This past April, the Interactive Advertising Bureau released a report citing that mobile is the fastest growing media channel, with ad spending up 149 percent in 2011. As mobile continues to grow from a buzzy talking point to a standard marketing approach, it’s worthwhile to take note of some important trends related to mobile search and how they are bound to affect [...]

Yes, Feature Phones DO Still Matter In Mobile SEO

[caption id="attachment_127964" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Have you thrown these out of your marketing plan? Source:"][/caption] Google recently released an addendum to their guidelines for optimizing for smartphones that gives more detail around how to optimize for feature phones as well. I know some of you are thinking, "Feature phones? What is this, 2005? Let me pull out my Razr and look for ringtones on WAP sites. Why on Earth would anyone need feature phone traffic now that everyone has an iPhone or an Android?" In 2012 in the US, this is often what it [...]

Switchboard Tags: Like Canonical Tags, But For Mobile SEO

When Google published their new guidelines for mobile SEO, the item that made headlines was their declaration of responsive design as the preferred option. Last month, I covered the basics on how responsive design works and how to optimize it. But the second option Google discussed got lost in the headlines: increased support for purpose-built mobile sites located on m-dot subdomains (e.g. ) This type of site had previously been flagged by Google’s Matt Cutts as being the favorite from a usability standpoint. While Google now favors responsive sites, their support for m-do [...]

Responsive Design Alone Is Not Mobile SEO

responsive design alone not mobile seo Finally, Google and Bing have both made it official that for mobile search, it is best to have One URL to Rule Them All, something I have been advocating for over 2 years. At the recent 2012 SMX Advanced iSEO session, Cindy Krum stepped in to represent the "one URL" approach in the session's debate vs the m. strategy. Although the one URL approach with responsive design is preferred by the search engines, that alone is not Mobile SEO. Using responsive design to render for different devices under one URL is a great first step, but that means assuming the same keyword trend and in [...]

Does Google’s Mobile SEO Preference Change Mobile SEO Best Practices?

Google did not just tell all of you to make your sites responsive. Actually they did, but that’s not all they said. At SMX Advanced, Pierre Far of Google announced something else as well. Responsive Web design is Google’s preferred option he said, but only if it’s best for a site’s users. You may think this is trivial, but it’s not. Just ask the sites hit by Panda and Penguin how important paying attention to users is for sustainable SEO. Google Gives Clearer Guidelines On Mobile SEO, But Still Some Questions Let’s review. In the overview of Google’s recommendations for smar [...]

How To Tune-Up Responsive Design Websites To Improve Mobile SEO

A couple weeks back, Google annouced new standards for mobile website design. Among the practices identified on their help pages, responsive design has been singled out as the best option from a search perspective. Let's look at how responsive design works, and how we can build sites to achieve maximum SEO performance on both the desktop and mobile environments. A Quick Recap Of Responsive Design If you're new to the mobile space, you'll find that there are three approached to mobile site design: 1) build a brand-new mobile site, 2) use your existing desktop website (which smartphone users c [...]

Getting Started With GoMo & DudaMobile, Now Backed By Google Analytics

Mobile is all the rage right now. Just a few days ago, Google came out and said that they recommend responsive design for mobile SEO and now, the Google Analytics division has just launched a new mobile solution. Allow me to tell you about this… Just recently, I received an email from Google Analytics offering me the opportunity to, "Make your website mobile-friendly in minutes, and measure the impact with Google Analytics!" This sounded like a great offer to me, so I decided to explore it further. Basically, Google Analytics is offering a new mobile solution known as Google Analytics [...]

Why Restaurants & Other Local Businesses Need Mobile (Not Responsive) Sites

In his Smashing Magazine response to Jakob Nielsen’s directive to build separate desktop and mobile sites, Bruce Lawson used the line "you never know better than your users what content they want" to argue that we shouldn’t be building separate mobile websites. I would agree with him that you never know better than your users what content they want, but would argue that’s usually a reason to build a separate mobile website. In search, we have the benefit of user queries that tell us what the majority of users want, and those queries often tell us that they’re looking for different t [...]

WAP Search is Dead! Long Live WAP Search

If you are a technophile, an online marketing specialist or a mobile marketer it can be easy to forget that a large part of your target market might not own a smartphone. This can be especially true if your demographic is broad reaching, and includes the upper and lower ends of the age spectrum (those not between the ages of 21 and 64). While it is always growing, smartphone ownership at the end of 2011 was still at only 30% for people in the 55-65 age group, and less than 18% for people 65 and older. On the other side of the age spectrum, only 38% of 13 to 17 year olds owned a smartphon [...]

Smartphone Bot Case Study: The Google Smartphone Bot On Holiday In Australia

While Google’s new smartphone bot has been announced, it does not appear to be widely deployed yet; at least that is what I said during a recent presentation in Sydney, where I had the pleasure of meeting Alistair Lattimore (Al). Al does CRO, SEO and agency management for Mantra Group, which is the second largest accommodation provider in Australia with over 100 hotels, retreats and resorts throughout Australia and New Zealand. Al was at the talk in Sydney and let me know that the smartphone bot had visited some of the sites he is responsible for and told me about the initial results. Man [...]

When & How Is The New Smartphone Bot Affecting Search Results?

Even though Google has launched a smartphone bot to improve mobile search results and the user experience on smartphones, it doesn’t mean that everything in mobile SEO has changed. Google is still detecting what handset users are searching from, and adapting the results that they send based on the handset; some phones are set up to pull from the desktop index using mobile indicators and phone-specific ranking factors. Other phones will trigger the mobile-only index that has been in play for a long time, serving mostly feature phones, older HTC and Windows Mobile phones and BlackBerrys. [...]

7 Real Mobile Duplicate Content SEO Issues

mobile-seo-featured Ask someone who’s new to mobile SEO about it and they’re almost sure to tell you that mobile sites are duplicate content. The fear is that having the same content on two URLs will do the same thing it does in traditional SEO and split link equity and social shares, making it more difficult for either page to rank. In reality, with Google’s Old Possum/Skip Redirect update in December, user agent redirection is all that’s necessary for mobile sites to rank ahead of desktop sites in smartphone search, even if it’s the same content formatted differently. With canonical tags back to [...]

Mobile SEO Is A Must For Acquiring Mobile Shoppers

Owners of ecommerce sites are a pretty observant bunch. The clarity that sales provide (or lack thereof) can make marketing a bit easier to quantify. There isn't a need to tie promotional activities back to branding metrics, or tricky-to-quantify engagement on the site ("Do we want more page views, or do less views mean the site delivered on the first try?") Thanks to that clarity, store owners keep a close eye on their data, and have probably seen mobile devices show-up on their radar a lot more than they used to. Combine that with the buzz around smartphones, and the idea of a store ap [...]

Smartphone Vs. Mobile-Only Google Indexing

The new smartphone crawler that Google has launched works cleverly by caching mobile redirects and potentially mobile pages too, but letting the desktop page rankings carry the day. In theory, as long as you have strong rankings for your desktop pages on mobile phones, then your mobile pages should soon be benefiting from those rankings, as long as page-to-page mobile redirects are in place. But that begs the question – what about feature phones? When you live in a tech-savvy community like most of us do, it is sometimes hard to remember that not everyone has smartphones. In fact, s [...]

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