Local Splash Founder and CTO, David Rodecker, and other members of the Local Splash team have been researching the difference between desktop and mobile SERPs.
An early piece of this research shows that there is a difference between a search performed on a mobile device and a desktop computer even in the exact same location, signed into the exact same Google account and searching the exact same query. Here is the desktop version:
This is a fairly standard SERP with 3 organic results displaying before location results and surprisingly no AdWords paid search results at the top. Now look at the difference between this page and the mobile page:
There are several interesting differences between the results:
1. There are less organic search results before the location results on the mobile search. This is probably the least surprising difference. Google has been saying, for several months now, that 50% of searches have local intent so it comes as no surprise that mobile SERP’s cater to this switch in the way people search.
2. There is a significant difference in locations showing up between the two results. Both letter “A” results in mobile and desktop are Taco Bell, however they are different locations (the addresses are different). Not only that, but other than the first two, the entire pack of location result is different, which means that 6 out of 7 physical addresses are different between desktop and mobile search.
3. There is significant local mobile advertising, as shown in the lack of AdWords ads on the desktop search compared to the two ads displayed in the mobile SERP. I think this may be the most fascinating thing in the search comparison. Even though the deceleration of desktop search and increase in mobile search and mobile ad revenues is one of Google’s worst kept secrets there is nothing like actually viewing it in the wild.
These factors seem to point to a localization of the results for mobile devices that takes us one step beyond desktop results.
Whether it’s mobile or desktop results, one thing is clear: local results are dominating the results page, which means it’s more important now than ever for businesses to focus on their local SEO strategies.
What local search queries are you noticing dramatic differences in for mobile and desktop?
According to a report titled, The Next Google is Google,” Google could end up paying Apple $1 billion to remain the default search engine on the iPhone. According to this article from TechCrunch, for every dollar of revenue Google makes on iOS due to advertising and data collection, Apple gets 75 cents from Google. As long as iOS sales keep growing, this number is going to increase in the future. With Microsoft pushing to make Bing the default search engine, Apple has received more and more money from Google over the years. But how much is too much? The end of the Google-Apple deal could be near. If Google was no longer the default search engine on the iPhone, how would it affect local business owners?
Currently, the iPhone has about 30 million users while Google’s Android has about 50 million. Although, Google would still be the default search engine for the 50 million Android users, that still leaves millions of users that may turn to other search engines like Bing or Yahoo if the iPhone’s default search engine is replaced. How will this affect local business owners?
Although we can only speculate on how it would affect local business owners, it’s clear that they would have to put more emphasis on expanding their local presence in other places beyond Google, (which is something local businesses should do anyway). This means making sure they are found in other directories, particularly Yahoo Local, Yelp and Facebook. Yelp and Facebook both have popular iPhone apps that more users are increasingly turning to in order to find local business information.
Even without Google being the default search engine, iPhone users will still be able to utilize the Google Maps app, a relatively new app that quickly became one of the most popular apps in the Apple Store upon its release. This means that just because Google Maps won’t be easily accessible from the iPhone’s internet browswer, Safari, users will still be able to search for local businesses from the actual Google Maps app.
Local business owners should make sure their Google+ Local Listing is claimed, verified and optimized as well as submit their business information to popular local directories, including Yahoo Local, Yelp and Facebook in order to increase their presence online. It’s also important to business owners to make sure their website is mobile friendly. The easier you make it for potential customers to find information about your business or contact your business, the more likely they are to come to your store location.
According to CNet.com, Google recently introduced a new feature that allows users to see inside businesses before visiting them. Panoramic photos shared by businesses on their Google+ Local page allow users to take a virtual trip inside the location so they know what to expect when they visit it.
To see the panoramic photos, you must zoom in toward street level on Map. Then click, drag and drop the orange figure (known as Pegman) on the portion of the Map you want to see. Once your Pegman has been dropped, you will see orange dots indicating businesses that have submitted panoramas to Google. According to the article, thousands of local businesses have done this already. If you drop the Pegman on top of one of the dots, the panorama will open and you can click and drag to explore inside the location.
If you are a local business owner who is thinking of submitting panoramic photos of your business, to services like Panaramio remember to optimize them with geo-targeted keywords for Google first to help with your local SEO efforts. Photo optimization is a perfect fit to highlight business listings on Google Maps and Google Plus.
Fun Fact: In addition to being able to see inside business locations, Google Streetview includes the inside of the White House and many museums!