Google, the search engine bellwether constantly updates its algorithms to ensure that searchers are getting the most relevant data and in the quickest data. Along with this, Google is constantly exploring new avenues and pre empting user patterns and launching products which searchers will use tomorrow. These experiments provide us, search engine marketers, an idea as to what to expect from Google next. Since last year Google has been testing many services related to mobiles and I am sure that it will continue to do so this year too.
Android, is the perfect example to show how bullish Google is on mobile devices. Android is a software platform and operating system for mobile devices, based on the Linux kernel, developed by Google It allows developers to write managed code in the Java language, controlling the device via Google-developed Java libraries. Google has also developed the software that handset manufacturers will install in their devices. Samsung, HTC, LG Electronics, and Motorola are among the companies that have said they will produce phones that run on Android.
Moving to search, Google SMS is a feature through which users can SMS a search query to Google and receive instant replies. Thus one can query Google on the move, literally. This service is available in US, Canada, Germany, Japan, Spain and India. Google is continuously expanding this service to more countries, thus its clear that Google is going to focus a lot on these services.
Google has also modified its SERPS on mobile devices(Iphone, Android) to display search results perfectly. The images (courtesy:- SearchEngineLand) show how SERPS are displayed on mobile browsers.
The very fact that Google is modifying its SERPS for mobiles is a clear indication that Google thinks that more and more users are going to use mobiles to search.
Google has also started testing “Ads” on mobile search results page. Though only a few users have seen these ads but its a clear indication that along with organic listings we will very soon see PPC campaigns being run for mobile phones. Google has announced new mobile advertising options to target the iPhone, G1, and other mobile devices with full HTML web browsers. Advertisers can now create separate campaigns that are targeted specifically toward mobile searchers with smart phones. Additionally, since Google is now able to accurately map mobile user location, it will show results (organic & ppc ) specifically catering to that particular area. The very fact that Google has modified its SERPS and included mobile targeting options shows how bullish Google is on mobile search being the next cash cow.
Google Maps has also simplified directions on mobile phones which have Map client downloaded. The list of features that Google come up with specifically catering to mobile phones is just endless.
The important thing for SEO experts , is to realise the vast oppurtunities and along with it the challenges that internet on the mobile has thrown up. SEO experts have successfully mastered the art of getting high search engine rankings on Google, however now their challenge will be to rank high for mobile searches . Moving ahead, the titles & meta keywords that Google displays on its SERPS will definitley not be the same that it will display on mobile browsers. Ranking below the first fold will bring in lot less visitors than it does on web pages. Basically, SEO for mobiles will be a completely new ball game. If search engine professionals dont get it right then they will definitley be left way behind.
Will keep this blog updated on further ‘mobile search’ developments .Wishing everyone a happy ’09.