Defining mobile Search
Definition of mobile search: using a web-enabled mobile device – feature phone, smartphone or media tablet – to query a search engine, using a relevant word or phrase – e.g. “emergency plumber in Manhattan” – known as a search term.(Source:Mobiforge.com)
Mobile Search is the practice of querying a search engine from an internet connected handheld device such as a smart phone(Source:techtarget.com)
My definition is as follows:
Mobile Search is any search conducted using a mobile device (smartphone or mobile), which may take advantage of the devices GPS tracking.
Why is mobile Search important?
Mobile Search continues to account for an increasing share of searches with mobile search predicted to overtake desktop search in the UK in 2014(intelligentpositioning.com), research by fresh egg shows that just over half (52%) of UK smartphone owners search daily, this figure is likely to continue growing as 4G technology becomes more widely available in the UK.
Mobile Search continues to account for a larger proportion of Uk searches with it predicted to overtake desktop search in 2014.
Icebreaker consulting found that 40% of mobile users will navigate to elsewhere if presented with a search result which does not cater to a mobile audience (source: vocus.com) in addition vocus.com found that mobile users expect a website to be quick loading (loads in less than 3 seconds)
Mobile Searchers value convenience highly and are likely to visit another site if dissatisfied with a search result, which fails to cater to their needs
How can you cater to mobile users?
Google recommend 3 approaches for accommodating mobile phone users these being:
I. Responsive Web Design
II. Adoptive web design
III. Dedicated Mobile site
There is some debate as to which is the best approach with Google preferring the responsive route
A question of Quality
Susan Walders suggests that the mobile web of today reminds her of the standard web of 1999 she also questions why so little effort is spent checking the quality of mobile websites compared to their desktop counterparts, if even major brands are failing to provide good quality mobile websites (source:searchengineland.com), the problem is likely to be much more severe at SME level.
Mobile Search continues to grow in importance and this trend is likely to continue into the future s tablet ownership becomes more widespread and 4G capable smartphones become widely available. This means that businesses cannot afford to neglect mobile users, and their websites need to cater to the specialist requirements of mobile users
What exactly do mobile users require?
Aleydra Solis argues that
‘Mobile SEO differs from desktop SEO since it’s specifically targeted to the mobile search environment, taking into consideration the specific mobile user’s search behaviour and intent, and the characteristics, requirements and restrictions of the mobile web platform from a content, interface and technical perspective.’ (econsultancy.com)
This suggests that simply having a responsive website is not enough to completely cater for the requirements of mobile users, content also needs to be tailored accordingly with less emphasis on long tail keywords.