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.

Siri, Are You Taking Over Mobile Search?

iphone-siri-featured The new iPhone 4s comes with a feature that is bound to impact how search marketers try to reach iPhone users. Siri, the voice recognition app that comes standard with the new iPhone, can be used to control text messaging and reminders inside the device. But it can also be used as a search tool, to call up specific information from the outside world. With the mobile search space already in flux, Siri adds a game-changing angle, particularly for marketers that want to reach the lucrative (presumably affluent) iPhone audience. Here are some factors for businesses to consider as Siri gro [...]

Why Mobile Is Spinning Our New Invisible Web

It’s been about a decade now since marketers woke up to the reality of the deep "invisible Web" – that mass of dynamic content search engines couldn’t see, index, or associate with keyword search. Remember the days when engines bragged about how many pages they indexed? Seems like forever ago. Search was new, the sitemap protocol didn’t exist, and achieving indexation through URL manipulation alone was basically enough to be a competitive edge. Those days are long gone - search engines, marketers, and site architecture have all arguably overcome basic visibility challenges. And y [...]

Bing On Mobile Search & SEO

If you read this column on a regular basis, you may think that Google is the only game in mobile search. The fact is, SEOs optimize for traffic, and Google is the mobile search market leader, so it is often the focus of our mobile optimization efforts. But it’s not the only game in town. As someone who uses mobile search often, I am more often than not frustrated at the number of sites in the results that make me do extra work pinching and zooming to get the information I need. I’m hoping a mobile search engine can come along that will provide a better user experience than Google. An [...]

Mobile SEO & The Need For Descriptive Links

It's a well known fact that links play a key role in search engine optimization. In addition to providing a physical connection between pages, search engines also use links to get advance notice of the content they'll find at the other end of that link. While it's true that search engines place the greatest value on links that come from other websites, they also take notice of the links connecting pages on your own site. Therefore, SEO consultants will spend a lot of time focusing on the site's navigation menu, adding keywords to make the menu more self-explanatory. But why is this so im [...]

How To Create QR Codes With Optimal URL Strategies In Mind

My last few columns painted a picture of QR codes as a force that will disrupt paid search and organic search marketing strategies. QR codes give consumers a faster, easier shortcut than searching in many situations. I talked about how the generation of these "mobile links" will demand brevity from your SEO’d URLs - but how much? As with any new field, there is still a lot of mystery about how to engineer QR codes. Today, I’ll explore this point further by looking at the science of QR code creation, how URL size impacts QR size, and how to start engineering a QR-friendly URL strategy. [...]

Consider Mobile Content Carefully For Users & Better SEO

I’ve spoken a lot in these columns about the differences between mobile SEO and desktop SEO, often warning webmasters to do more than just reformat their desktop content for smaller screens. But if you’re in the process of creating a mobile site, you may be wondering what to put on your mobile site that’s different than what is on your desktop site. What content (if any) would be interesting to users of a mobile site that wouldn't necessarily appeal to a stationary user on a desktop or laptop? As search marketers, we should already understand the power of keyword research in lett [...]

Why Social Must Be Part Of Your Mobile Strategy

Let me start this piece by throwing a few stats out there: Mobile Over 550,000 Android phones are activated each day (worldwide). In the UK, 45% of Internet use is done on mobile devices. There are more than 3m mobile Internet users in London alone. In the UK, there are more than 15,000,000 smartphones in use. More than 21,000,000 UK mobile users can access the Internet on their phones. UK iPad users are more inclined to spend money on their iPad than any of their other devices. Social Nearly half of all brand Tweets are negative. YouTube is the UKs third largest websit [...]

How Integrated QR Codes Could Disrupt Your SEM Strategy

This summer, I dedicated my columns to exploring the disruptive effects QR codes will have on the core of search marketing – from SEO URL strategy, to the very notion of link building. Today, I’ll look at how QR disrupts the SEM game, and may force you to adopt a new strategy. It's In The Mail If you’re a US resident, you’ve surely noticed the spike this summer in direct mail pieces featuring 2D barcodes (typically QR) – even curiously from firms that are typically late adopters, like non-profits. This was due to a brilliant (perhaps desperate) move by the US Postal Service to rema [...]

What’s The Difference Between Mobile & Desktop SEO?

laptop-smartphone-seo-featured One of the questions I get most often about mobile SEO is this: I’m already doing SEO-- do I really need to do mobile SEO separately? What’s the difference between the two? There are some who would say that there is no difference between desktop SEO and mobile SEO. It's a topic that often garners friendly debate - Andrew French,  a fellow Mobile Mondays columnist, has even gone so far as to say there is no mobile SEO, just SEO for mobile search. To me, this is like saying "there is no oncology, just a branch of medicine for cancer." On the one hand, yes, oncology is a branch of [...]

How To Use Mobile To Broaden Your SEO Campaign

Admittedly, I’ve been a little negative about "mobile SEO" in my last few posts, but that’s only because I believe "mobile SEO" really shouldn’t be seen as a separate product, just another channel to assist your SEO strategy. Let’s look at a market that really isn’t suited to mobile conversions and look at ways to make it work with your current SEO campaign. As I mentioned in my last post, industries such as insurance can struggle to find an angle to offer their products through small mobile devices such as smartphones, but that really shouldn’t mean that you give up on mobil [...]

Mobile Search Strategies For Online Retail

Previously, I took a look at how the travel industry can use mobile SEO in conjunction with desktop-based campaigns to reach customers at two points during their vacation planning: at home while booking the trip, and at the destination while planning their activities. This timing element could be applied to a lot of other industries; let's look at online retail. Product Searches As search marketers, we understand the difference between someone typing in a generic product search, versus a brand or brand/product search. The generic searcher is earlier in the buying cycle, and approaching th [...]

Mobile Link Building Issues: How QR Codes Disrupt More Than URLs

Last month, I introduced the idea that QR codes could disrupt your URL strategy. This led to quite a lively discussion! With dozens of comments, over 850 retweets, and hundreds of QR scans for the mobile article, this is obviously an important topic. Today, I'll complete the theme with examples, and best-practice methods for optimizing QR code URLs. Let me summarize my point of view: Barcodes (the Quick Response format, in particular) are more than merely mobile campaign conduits; they are mobile site links. They are the mechanism through which we as mobile consumers will expect to ac [...]

Better Mobile Linkbuilding In 5 Easy Steps

You may have read in SEOMoz a few years ago that link building is unnecessary for mobile rankings. When it comes to smartphone search engine results, data suggests otherwise. When I took a random sample of 11 of the most popular mobile queries and examined the characteristics of the top 5 Google smartphone results for each query, the average domain authority (using SEOMoz metrics) for the first five positions was 83/100, and the first result (on average) had as many links pointing to the first listing as it did to listings 2 through 5. Furthermore, there was only one site in the sample t [...]

Mobile SEO: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Let me just start by saying the there is no such a thing as "mobile SEO", just SEO for mobile search. True mobile SEO could only exist if you only have a mobile site and the only link building you do is from other mobile sites and pursue other SEO activities on only mobile based platforms. In other words, "mobile SEO" doesn't really exist, it’s just another part of SEO, and should be treated as such. I'm sure that statement will not win me any friends within the mobile SEO world, but it's true. As search engine mobile and desktop results merge and the lines between mobile SERPs and des [...]

Why QR Codes Could Disrupt Your SEO URL Strategy

SEO has greatly influenced web information architecture over the years, particularly with respect to URL structure. I think we'd all agree, it has long been considered gospel to "optimize" URLs at the category (or product-levels) by including at least a sprinkling of keywords, as a ranking signal and to make URLs more human readable and clickable. However, mobile’s disruption of marketing knows no bounds. This common SEO practice can also be a liability when it comes to mobile barcode marketing -  where URL size and branding matter, but keywords do not. In this two-part series, I’ll make [...]

Top 3 Takeaways From Google’s Inside Search Event

amit singhal mobile explosion google inside search For those of you expecting me to make good on a promise from my last column to continue the theme of how mobile is changing SEO with regard to link building, look for that next month. Since Google’s Inside Search event had a mobile theme, I think it’s more important to address the implications of what was said this month. If you’re not already aware, on Tuesday, June 14, 2011, Google held an Inside Search event in which they introduced several new features to desktop search, including voice search and search by image, released several new mobile features, and gave general statistics [...]

The Mobile SEO Party is Ending

... and moving to a bigger house. Since over a quarter of the world's mobile phones are now smartphones and mobile Internet use is set to overtake desktop use in the next 4 years, it’s even more important to have a mobile strategy or mobile offering. In recent times, Google has started to open up about how they crawl, index and use mobile sites. One example of this that there is no longer a need to have a mobile site on a sub-domain or in a folder, you simply need to have mobile friendly pages with the same URL. This was mentioned by John Mueller in a recent Google Buzz Q&A: John [...]

How To Integrate Desktop & Mobile Search For The Travel Industry

Living in the old Italian neighborhood in Boston, I come across tourists everyday. It's interesting to observe their behavior, particularly in a setting like Boston, which is famous for being a walking city. Most tourists already have a hotel booked by the time they arrive. They have a set timeframe, and a short list of sights to see. Beyond that, a lot of their time is up for grabs. And they're all carrying mobile phones of one type or another. [caption id="attachment_80681" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption="Search activity for Boston landmarks is similar, but the quantities are [...]

RIP Referrer Data! How Mobile Apps Can Kill Your Mobile Metrics

Imagine justifying your PPC budget, if you could no longer track which keywords sent each visitor. Regardless of how successful your program is today, you probably would not think twice about killing or dramatically shrinking it tomorrow. And for pretty good reason, right? That referral data is connective tissue that enables you to attribute success and allocate resource against ROI metrics. Well, in the nascent mobile ecosystem, increasing amounts of this referrer information are becoming invisible to your mobile clickstream and ROI analysis. Maybe you have noticed? If not, you probably wi [...]

How Mobile Searchers Are Changing Keyword Research

Many analysts are making the case for separate device targeting in mobile paid search these days, but due largely to the subtlety of the differences in natural search results, too many SEOs are under the mistaken impression that desktop and mobile SEO are one in the same. Because this ignorance affects all of us by not giving us the tools we need to target mobile users effectively, I’m using a few columns to make the differences crystal clear. In my last column, I started to make the case for how SEO changes when targeting mobile searchers, starting with the 14 differences between desktop [...]

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