With the turn of the new year dozens upon dozens of updates have flooded social networks and blogs alike, all trying to make sense of the last year’s trends in the field of SEO and online marketing and predict what this next year has in store for us all.
One of the commonest predictions this year (and, indeed last year as well) is that 2013 will be the first year to see a truly large expansion of the mobile search sector. Mobile search has been growing exponentially for years and last year even Larry Page hailed it as the future of search and advertising (and implicitly SEO).
Yes, while the jury is still out on co-citation or Author Rank (in whatever incarnation it might arrive) everybody seems to be certain that the future is mobile, with tablets expected to overtake desktop and laptop computers in this coming year. And yet most of the strategies employed by SEO agencies still neglect optimization for mobile phones and tablets.
And yet the mobile search engine is flourishing. Not only are all the big names in search available on your smartphone but a few start-ups have developed specialized mobile-first services. And yet, by far the biggest news comes, as always, from Google.
Recently Google has redesigned its application suites for both Android and iOS. More specifically it has started making great use of the smartphone integrated location services for suggesting contextual results thanks to its Google Local pages. This is exactly the kind of opening that the field has needed for a while now in order to fully take on mobile search optimization.
Any SEO marketing agency worth its salt offers mobile search optimization to its customers, mostly because it’s not really that different or difficult. Mobile searches are simpler (in terms or keywords usually employed) and more cutthroat in competition (as there are fewer relevant spots on the initial SERP due to smaller screens). But what the app update has done is open a wider door for location-based search. Search terms like ‘hamburger restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen’ have always been the norm on mobile devices as most mobile searches have always been local-oriented. But now, a simple search for ‘hamburger restaurant’ coupled with active location services will yield similar results, meaning that small businesses will be able to compete for keywords usually out of their budget based on location. Add to this the highly likely integration of co-citation into (at least) the local search algorithms and you’ll start to see that it’s an exciting time to be an SEO professional.
The mobile market is mostly untapped but it will likely not stay that way for long. So make sure to be ahead of the curve in terms of mobile optimization and the rise of contextual searches.