In March 2009, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, stated that mobile search will surpass PC search in years NOT decades. So whilst mobile still has a long way to go, it is definitely becoming another important channel for marketers to consider. Mobile search is just one of the many areas which will start to receive significant attention over the next 12 months, so I have collated some of the most interesting mobile search trends I have come across to date;
1. Search query length; According to a recent report published by several of Google’s researchers, the average users search query on a mobile phone is 15.89 characters. This is 18% fewer characters than the average length of a user search query on a desktop. In addition the average number of words per query is 2.44 on a mobile phone, which is 20% lower than search queries on a desktop. As a result, it is important to understand how users search on mobile by conducting specific mobile keyword research.
2. Type of queries; MobiThinking stated in their recent SEO Best Practice Guide that it takes users approximately 40 seconds and 30 key strokes to enter a short URL / search query. As a result predictive search queries presented by search engines play a big role in simplifying the mobile search experience. Thus from a mobile SEO perspective, it is important to place your site in the most common predictive search phrases related to your product or service offering.
3. Local Query Searches; As is widely published, mobile searches will often contain location based queries, however it is also important to note that users are not only searching for this content via search engines. Mobile applications have to date achieved much success, which is partly due to the effective presentation of information within these applications. Thus it is important to understand that optimisation for location based queries may not be enough. Consider how key applications related to your industry are gathering results from search engines and how your mobile site can deliver content in the format required to be featured within these applications.
4. Voice Based Mobile Search; Despite however the current trends in user behaviour, there is a significant advancement which is and will continue to revolutionise the industry and will turn what we know today on its head. This is the introduction of voice based search for mobile phones. Whilst Yahoo & Google developed applications for voice based search in late 2008, widespread adoption is yet to take hold and as Google continues to innovate in this area it will be an important space to watch. Voice based search for mobile will eradicate many of the time and keystroke related issues experienced by mobile users when searching. And although tt is obviously very earlier days on the voice search based front once widespread, mobile SEO will change considerably as “voice search queries” will differ considerably from “text based search” as users are not restricted by small keypads and screens.
Share any trends you have come across regarding the mobile search below;