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.

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 [...]

For Mobile SEO Ask “What Do Mobile Searchers Need?”

I have to say, given that this is a competitive industry, and that while we’re sharing best practices on optimization we’re also competing with each other in search results, it doesn’t make me feel that bad to see the rest of the industry seems to embrace a one URL strategy, in spite of my argument that a hybrid approach is best. If my colleagues who are also competing with me in search results want to pick a strategy that ultimately will bring them less qualified traffic in search results, honestly, that’s more traffic for me and my clients. Because when it comes down to it, SEO [...]

Building Mobile Landing Pages That Succeed In Mobile Search

Inertia is always a problem when you're starting something new. The start seems like a very tall wall, and we often make that wall taller by imposing a lot of requirements and parameters on what needs to be done. Mobile marketing must seem that way to a lot of companies, and as a result, far too many of them are sitting on the sidelines. Fortunately, there are a few vendors out there offering a shortcut to the mobile Web:  a turnkey publishing platform that allows a marketer to quickly deploy mobile landing pages. The question is: how effective are these pages in the context of mobile s [...]

One URL To Rule Them All For Mobile SEO

A core element of mobile SEO is to determine where the mobile content will reside in relation to that of the standard desktop orientated site. This debate was even broached a year ago. What Are The Mobile SEO URL Options? Same URL or One URL strategy An m. subdomain A third party site for mobile pages A .mobi TLD Why Is The One URL Strategy Better For Mobile SEO? With the large enterprise companies we work with at Covario, our position has been to recommend the one URL or same URL approach over the m. subdomain. The one URL approach for mobile has also been recently echoed a [...]

10 Optimization Secrets To Drive More Mobile Traffic From Facebook

facebook-mobile-featured One of the staggering facts in Facebook's public filing last month was that 50% of their traffic is driven by mobile devices. That's about 5x more than the average website. Perhaps even more staggering: the growth rate of their mobile traffic actually exceeded their US growth rate last year (17% vs 16%). With US smartphone penetration now past 50% (likely to reach 65% by year-end), mobile devices are simply how your Facebook profile is consumed! Meanwhile, for most of the 4 million businesses with Facebook Page profiles, Facebook's mobile-friendly version acts as the only "mobile [...]

Untangling Your Mobile Metrics With Better Redirects

A lot of mobile sites owners have trouble making sense of their metrics. In some extreme cases, they can't track referrals from any website besides their own desktop site, which of course is sending visits their way whenever someone approaches from a mobile phone. The trouble is potentially two-fold: not only is it hard to track visitors, but once Google's December changes take effect, it may be hard to attract those visitors in the first place. One common source of this tracking problem is the series of redirects that make-up the desktop-to-mobile switchboard. Three aspects of this s [...]

How To Best Optimize Your Mobile Site For SEO

Last week my colleague, Michael Martin presented Mongoose Metrics data that demonstrates that less than 10% of you are mobile ready in 2012.  He also presented some pretty compelling reasons for going mobile in 2012, including the Compuware study that 57% of customers would not recommend a business with a bad mobile site, and 40% would actually even go to a competitor with a better mobile experience. If you’re a regular reader of this column and you don’t have a mobile experience, you are in the majority of site owners; but you’re also way behind and may not be able to catch up if yo [...]

Less Than 10% Of The Web In 2012 Is Mobile Ready

mobile matters Mobile's overall share of Web traffic in the United States has increased to about 9% (according to StatCounter) which is also the same percentage of Quantcast's Top Million sites that are deemed ready for mobile in 2012 according to data from the Mongoose Metrics Data Series. Since there wasn't the same data pull last year, it could be compared loosely to data from Brand Anymore in late 2010, which determined that of 7,000 retail websites only 4.8% were mobile ready - a nearly doubling of the Web's mobile readiness in a year. In the Mongoose Metrics data set, 118,000 of the 1,000,000 [...]

7 Key Mistakes That Cost Advertisers ‘Mobile Super Bowl I’

By now, you may have already put Super Bowl XLVI in the history books. But let's remember: this was the first to occur in the post-PC mobile era. (It was supposed to feature my Green Bay Packers, but that's another story.) This was Mobile Super Bowl I: a record TV audience. Half with a smartphone. All watching brands spend $116,000 per second to reach them. During the game, mobile consumers stepped up, delivering record mobile search, social, and video activity. Yet most advertisers looked unprepared, seemingly without a mobile game plan. Many enabled Shazam users to tag commercials, but [...]

Using The Mobile Ratio To Measure Mobile SEO Success

Anyone involved in online marketing has an innate sense that mobile is a big deal. We're never more than an arm's length from our phones, and we have a curious tendency to do everything on them. I once sat in front of a dark, Netflix-enabled flat-screen, watching Netflix on my iPhone. It was just easier, and I had it on, and I could switch back and forth with Facebook, and... ok, maybe I have a problem! In any event, our personal fascination with mobile phones shouldn't dictate our work decisions. And one question that needs deciding more and more these days is around mobile search: [...]

What You Need To Know About Targeting iPad & Tablet Searchers

"2012 will be the year of the tablet," said Kenshoo CMO Aaron Goldman in a recent Search Insider column. With the figures he’s seeing, it’s hard to disagree with him. According to Goldman, 7% of all online sales Kenshoo saw over the holidays came from a tablet, and "Of the sales transactions completed via mobile, over 83% of the revenue was driven through tablets, and overall tablet conversion rate was 2.72%, more than 3x higher the conversion rate for mobile phones. Additionally, the average order value from tablets ($149.84) actually exceeded that of desktop computers ($146.07)." [...]

How To Achieve Mobile Search Ranking Clarity

Mobile search results not only produce different rankings from desktop search but can also vary based on the mobile device type that the query was performed on, as has been written about here at Search Engine from myself and Bryson Meunier among others. You can see mobile results directly from your desktop for feature phones at and for smartphones at, but the rankings don't quite correlate to what you would actually see on those device types. So how can one qualify those different mobile results without having to do an actual searc [...]

10 Search & Social Resolutions For A Very Mobile 2012

Happy (belated) New Year. Let's face it, 2012 isn't the first year someone has christened the "year of mobile." But it is the first time consumers have done so – and continue to. Still in the market for resolutions? Let me suggest 10 that'll charge-up your brand to set pace - and lead - with mobile in 2012: Think Mobile First Smartphones most likely rang in 2012 by blowing past 100 million US subscribers. That means there’s a 50% chance your customers are now holding a smartphone; and 80% are using it to change how they shop. Plus, 2012 forecasts call for a 73% rise in m-commerce [...]

6 Mobile Search Optimization Trends For 2012

Happy New Year to my fellow mobile search enthusiasts, and welcome to another exciting year for mobile search! It seems every year about this time consultants and pundits like me become clairvoyant and share their wisdom with those of you who lack the capacity to see beyond the daily planner. While I usually avoid such lofty predictions in an industry like ours that is so maddeningly unpredictable, here are a few things I think mobile and search marketers need to be aware of when preparing for the inevitable rise in mobile search in the New Year. SoLoMo Social Local Mobile Marketing (S [...]

How To Improve Mobile Commerce SEO Using JQM

Last month, I took a look at mobile commerce and the issues that online retailers face when trying to adapt their desktop content (or worse, their offline catalog) to a mobile website. I left-off with a promise to revisit mobile site design, since this can have a big impact on your options for slicing and dicing content to maximize SEO performance. Dim Sum Versus Steak Let's start with user needs. Jacon Nielson recently published a study confirming that bite-size chunks of content are best for mobile users. "When in doubt, leave it out" was his sound-bite takeaway. Given our own personal exp [...]

SEO Considerations For Google Mobile Search In 2012

Mobile search has never been just one result type. It  provides different results and presentation formats, depending on whether the search query is from a feature phone, smartphone or tablet. Google has just announced a specially designated crawler for smartphones apart from what it uses currently for feature phones, which foreshadows a deeper divergence of results between the two mobile types, as well as from desktop results. Until recently, the results for the different mobile types has been assumed to be the same as those for the desktop or simply just more Google local results.  H [...]

5 SEO Tips To Get Mobile Apps Ranked In SERPs

Retail brands with popular mobile apps are benefiting tremendously this holiday season from prominent mobile app visibility in Google's organic search results. Search for Groupon, eBay, Amazon, Target, QVC or numerous others. Alongside the brand website listing, local listings, and social profiles, searchers are starting to see links to these brands’ iPhone, iPad, and Android app profile pages, right on the first page of Google. These app page URLs are presenting powerful new opportunities to "occupy" Page 1 of Google SERPs for desktop and mobile searchers, with big payoffs. [caption id [...]

Seven Mobile SEO Myths Exposed

Not too long ago, the article Mobile SEO is a Myth got a lot of people fired up about the foolish notion that mobile SEO is a construct developed by salesmen to sell more SEO services. I responded in the comments to the author’s points, and have addressed this point in multiple articles over the years, so I’m not going to argue it here again. While I don’t agree at all that mobile SEO itself is a myth, there are many myths around mobile SEO that practitioners need to be aware of. Here are a few of the most prevalent... Myth #1: A Dotmobi TLD Is Necessary For Indexing & [...]

Tips For Optimizing Content In Mobile Commerce SEO

mobile-seo-featured This month, a lot of mobile commerce sites are being put to the test for the first time. Mcommerce sites are expected to cross the 10% mark in their contribution to online retail sales, and retailers will be collecting usage data to figure out what users like and dislike. In my own shopping experiences, both through mobile sites and mobile apps, I'm finding a consistent theme running through the product pages I see: retailers are unsure how to handle product descriptions. It's a fact of life that mobile screens are small, and I've recently looked at how that impacts decisions about SEO a [...]

Give Thanks Google Hasn’t Secured Mobile Search Data – Yet

As we approach Thanksgiving in the US, Google’s recent introduction of secure search understandably left many in SEO-land feeling more like the 99% these days - betrayed and powerless over the sizable disappearance of organic keyword data in the name of privacy. But besides PPC advertisers, there appears to be another exception to Google's secure search keyword stripping: mobile organic search. I think Google is signaling where their focus is (and where they want your focus to be) by giving a small window of opportunity to act. Securing Search Activity Not that I quibble with the vie [...]

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