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Mobile Search Skyrockets With Users: What You Need to Know

Posted on 1.01.2009

According to Comscore, mobile search is taking off in a big way with consumers. Compared to 2007, mobile search has increased 68% in the US. No doubt, the influx of smart phones and 3G network penetration has helped. And there are no surprises when it comes to mobile search portals. Google owns a 63% market share, with Yahoo getting 34%. But just because the search market share is consistent, that doesn't mean the search experience is the same. As a webiste owner, you need to make sure you're getting your piece of the mobile search pie, and it starts with mobile keywords.

Mobile search keywords and results can differ from a desktop experience. So, you should make sure your website content and blog posts are reflecting a mobile searcher's queries. One of the easiest and best ways to do this is by conducting some mobile searches of your own related to your business or industry.

Check out regular Google search results for your term, then try the desktop version of Google Mobile Search. Both feature search suggestions as you type, but the suggestions will differ between the two portals. You'll find some differences and similarities. The image below is of a Google desktop search starting with "roof."

Now, the mobile search starting with  "roof." Notice the difference in suggestions.

Yahoo's mobile search portal includes OneSearch and again, there are some differences in results. There are a couple of key elements to look at with Yahoo's mobile results. First, you will notice that sponsored results are very limited. Second, results are decidedly local in nature. And third, you'll find that "websites" are listed before "mobile websites." The "websites" listings are taken directly from Yahoo desktop search results, while "mobile websites" are not. It's also interesting to note that in a search for "roofing",  the result "mobile websites" lists stories, not necessarily more businesses. This may differ in your specific industry. Also, take a look at "related searches" in both the mobile versions of Google and Yahoo for some mobile keyword ideas.

Remember that mobile users will search using far fewer keywords than their desktop counterparts. It's much easier to type a long query on a keyboard than a mobile device. That changes somewhat with high-end phones like the iPhone and G1.

Finally, there's a sure-fire way to get results for mobile keywords. Consider running a Google AdWords for mobile campaign, using a separate ad group. This is from the Google AdWords help section: If you first made a mobile format ad in your ad group, the keyword tool, when accessed through your ad group, will show results for mobile searches.

In other words, when you run a mobile-specific campaign, you will get all mobile keywords when using the keyword tool for that group.

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