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Mastering Search Analytics by Brent Chaters

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Chapter 10. Tracking Mobile Search

Mobile search is a rapidly emerging market.

From 2008 to 2010, mobile traffic on Google increased by a factor of five (http://searchengineland.com/google-mobile-query-growth-dramatically-higher-than-pc-38203), and it is being predicted that mobile searches will account for 20% of total searches by 2012 (http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/16/mobile-search-20-percent/). Further, mobile data traffic volumes are expected to rise 40-fold over the next five years (http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/30/mobile-data-traffic-rise-40-fold/).

Without a doubt, mobile search will continue to grow.

This growth will also mean changes to search patterns. Note here that I say “search patterns,” not “search algorithms.” For the most part, the mobile search algorithms in use today are very similar to the desktop search algorithms. The biggest changes will be in user behavior, with a trend toward highly local and personal searches by users looking for instant fulfillment of their needs and desires. Optimizing for mobile devices is not so much about creating different pages as it is about understanding the needs of these users and the type of content they are looking for. For example, we know that local search is much more important to a mobile user. Do you have location-specific content on your site? Do you have a local search strategy?

A web browser designed for use on a mobile device is unlike any traditional web browser you would find on a PC or laptop. Mobile devices are typically ...

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