Pierre Far, Google’s webmaster trends analyst, spoke on the company’s position regarding mobile SEO at SMX Advanced in Seattle on Wednesday. Many have waited for Google to detail its mobile algorithm, and the initial guidelines build off the prior roll out of Googlebot-Mobile in December.
For the most part, Far’s recommendations dealt with the design of different mobile websites and the SEO considerations marketers and web designers can make to ensure these pages are optimized for users. Far advocated for the responsive design approach, which offers the same overall experience for users of all mobile devices.
The uniform URLs that the responsive design method offers helps sites build a strong ranking and web presence since the web address never changes. In general, this ensures that indexed pages stem from the same URL. Companies using content marketing and blogs have found that hosting these pages on a main URL is ideal to develop a strong search presence and make life as easy as possible for their visitors. With the rise of the mobile, the concept is the same for the most part.
As such, mobile-specific domains are not advisable. Many companies use this format, and, while any mobile presence is better than none, it can be difficult to develop a strong search ranking since traffic, links and other ranking signals are going to two different URLs. Far essentially said companies should no longer use this method. With Brafton reporting that more than 30 billion search queries will come from mobile devices this year, a uniform presence on mobile and desktop will help companies boost the same website rather than dealing with two separate sites.
Moreover, Brafton recently highlighted comScore’s monthly mobile phone analysis for April 2012. The report found that smartphones now account for close to, if not more than, half of all mobile phones in the United States. Nearly half of all mobile phone owners accessed the web in April. Consumers and B2B buyers are becoming more active on the mobile web. Factoring this traffic into integrated web marketing efforts will help companies ensure that they are bulding a single web presence.
Similarly, a website that responds well to mobile devices helps businesses’ social media marketing efforts as well. Part of comScore’s report detailed growing social access on mobile sites. More than one-third of all Americans accessed a social network, whether through an app or browser, on their handset in April.