Smartphone users have a new option for localized information in Google’s Near Me Now feature, which performs Google searches for nearby information without voice or text input from users. Search engine optimization (SEO) for local businesses now has a new target surface, according to experts.

PC World says that Near Me Now was announced last year, along with several other new mobile search features, but has only recently gone live. It is available to users whose cell phones run version 3.0 of Apple’s iPhone OS or later, as well as version 2.0.1 or later of Google’s own Android OS.

Matt McGee, writing at Search Engine Land, speculates that, although Google’s competitors for this market like Yelp and MapQuest already offer similar functionality, the search giant’s greater resources and reach could allow them to become the most important mobile target for search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

Strengthening rates of smartphone adoption, particularly in the enterprise sector, make search engine optimization (SEO) for mobile applications an increasingly high priority for online marketers, experts say.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.