Steven Gradidge. Hi :)

Tablet Multimedia Devices: How Should SEO Adapt?

Posted on: February 27, 2011

It’s been very hard to avoid the attention of the Apple iPad. It’s a lovely device (don’t stop reading yet, this isn’t another fanboy piece!) that brings a plethora of portable practicality. Blackberry has just announced their ‘Playbook’ tablet device which they state is targeted towards ‘busy working people’. The irony of Blackberry still fails to shock me. Samsung have their Galaxy Tab, Amazon have their Kindle and the likes of Acer, Toshiba, HP and others are expected to follow suit with their handhelds soon. Increasing volumes of mobile surfing are fostering a thirst for such devices. Though smartphones offer us a lot of Internet usability, a demand for uncompromised, desktop-like web surfing on the move is there! A place where the smartphone fails to deliver. I’ll refer to it as the ‘mobtop’ platform.

My profuse (my mother would claim addiction) mobile phone usage gives me a good insight into the varying differences of search one might have. Very often our search purpose will be something very different on a mobile than on our desktop. Likewise, mobile search is ever on the increase and what we tend to look for varies. “So what?” I hear you ask. Well, comparing the search history trends from my home computer and my smartphone conjured up a number of interesting finds and I don’t think my behaviour stands alone.

First of all I noticed that my search queries on my mobile were on average a word shorter than a desktop search. I decided to look into this and research suggests that only 15% of all mobile searches contain more than two keywords. In my own research, 100% of my desktop searches contained at least 3 keywords. This crude yet simplifying research highlights the methodical selection of keywords as an ever important dynamic within the SEO process.

Secondly, the loyalty bestowed on a desktop search compared to a mobile search was different to say the least. On a desktop I was willing to go through a number of SERP’s before contemplating another search term even when time constrained. I always felt my ‘desktop search’ was a more “investing” search as opposed to a mobile search. So with this in mind if a website is not going to be in the first few organic SERP positions, it is unlikely to get a look in.

A top twenty ranking could generally be regarded as satisfactory by most but on a mobile phone with limited screen estate, a SERP page might include a lacklustre eight search results. This puts an additional premium on organic search engine positions because lets face it, beyond the first few results of the SERP on a mobile you are not going to go any further down the page. A change of consumer behaviour is making the top few search positions on search engines even more competitive than they once were, thus making it even more imperative to have an optimised site.

Do you search differently depending upon the platform you are using? Please feel free to comment on my findings and let me know if you have noticed any kind of patterns in your search behaviour.



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