Mobile Search After The Final Mayan B’ak’tun

nexus 4 mobile search

Google Nexus 4 / Mayan Calendar from Peta-de-aztlan, Creative Commons

If you are reading this Search Engine Land column, then you survived the “final day” of the Mayan Calendar as the 13th B’ak’tun resets to 0 like an odometer after 1,872,000 days, and with it, the start of the 5th world, according to Mayan culture.

This 5th world is said to be one of enlightenment, higher consciousness, and great transformation, which in my view, could only mean a concerted focus on mobile…for those that remain.

Perhaps this world could even usher in that Year of Mobile, which is talked about seemingly every year for the past half decade.

Last year I wrote about how to best prepare for mobile search going into 2012 ,which both Google and Bing affirmed five months later, in their preference of the single URL approach.

Bryson Meunier further added to this with a great piece here at Search Engine Land showing facts and data as to what mobile search is to dispel any outdated mobile SEO myths with reality.

So, how do you skate to where mobile search is going, not where it has been, in this enlightened mobile age entering 2013?

Device Intent

A critical piece of a site’s development and the evolution of search engines is discerning the differing intent of a user when searching with the same semantic term, but on different devices.

Truly understanding the user’s intent is not merely a matter of rearranging the deckchairs of visuals with responsive design, but more a matter of steering the ship to that intent with dynamic serving.

mobile seo evolution

Evolution of Man image from Bryan Wright, Creative Commons


Semantic Clarity

A search engine can better understand implied intent if it can better discern a site’s semantic meaning.

Semantic meaning for a site can be better clarified and discerned using markup coding and HTML5 elements, which Google rewards by increasing that site’s potential with rich snippets in its results.

Google has even made this easier with a WYSIWYG markup tool, which puts the correct microdata in your code delineating the meaning of your site’s data, to further this expansion.

Spatial & Temporal Awareness

Google wants greater semantic clarity with an emphasis on location and time data, which goes to the heart of a user’s intent on mobile devices.

This location and timing data, Google can use to better the website and advertiser results it displays in combination with data from a user’s actual device.

HTML5, with the user’s permission via the browser, is evolving to provide that access to a user’s location, camera, voice commands, and most all of the devices’ functionality to sites and search engines.

In the interim, this data can be accessed by Google directly from the device itself, as its Android platform is already on 75 percent of all mobile devices worldwide and a near necessity layer on iOS devices for mapping, search, and video watching.

Mobile Survivalist Preparation

This may remind people of another doomsday scenario involving Skynet from Terminator becoming self aware, but that originally was to have already started on August 4, 1997, interestingly, exactly a year and a month before Google incorporated on September 4, 1998.

Just as the actual dates for Skynet’s self awareness in the Terminator series got constantly pushed later in time, so too, will the Mayan calendar’s end; but, today’s reality of mobile search is what people should really prepare for to survive online.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Mobile | Mobile Search | Search Engines: News Search Engines | SEO: Mobile Search


About The Author: is a SEO Manager at Covario, SEO course instructor at San Diego State University, contributor to The Art of SEO : Mastering Search Engine Optimization published by O’Reilly and owner of Mobile Martin based out of San Diego, California.

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  • Barbara Starr

    RE: “Google has even made this easier with a WYSIWYG markup tool, which puts the correct microdata in your code delineating the meaning of your site’s data, to further this expansion.”

    The tool DOES NOT PLACE SCHEMA.ORG MARKUP on the page. See my upcoming article (presumably later today – Thursday – Jan 17, 2013). The tool merely absorbs “structured data” for google’s exclusive use (A brilliant strategic move on their part, and a tactic they have used in the past for “hijacking data”. NO ACTUAL MARKUP IS PLACED ON THE PAGE. I will provide further information and details which I have written about at length in an SEL article that is apparently publishing tomorrow/today.)

    Semantic technologies and semantic search are playing a far greater role in both search and social engines than the prototypical SEO may perceive, from geospatial and temporal reasoning, to their mandating ontologies/vocabularies and means of specifying them via e.g html5 markup wrt to both syntax and semantics!

    Case in point, facebook graph search. Glaringly obvious move even 6 months ago. I happened to comment on quora about the very topic, If you have an quora account, you can read about it here:

    From a “semantic search” perspective or graph database perspective it was/is a total no-brainer for facebook (and bing) especially in light of their rdfa adoption for the opengraph protocol and the “likes” and “interests” of “friends” that drive the social graph behind Facebook! I guess the reason it took them so long to produce it was ensuring they sufficiently hardened the technology behind the graph search??

  • Colin Guidi

    So I know that the use of the data highlighter tool in GWMTs (what you’re referencing above) doesn’t actually drop in code for the page.

    But the point of using the tool is to allow Google to render the structured data markup directly in the SERPs for the user, ideally increasing the CTR of your organic listings, correct?

  • Michael Martin

    Correct, as I should have clarified that Google does not “place” the semantic code directly onto your site but notes it internally for displaying that page in its search results, which may include rich snippet displays that could increase CTRs.


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