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?
Facebook’s recent update to its “Nearby” feature now gives it a competitive edge in the local search world for mobile.
Prior to the update, Nearby was an app that showed you where your friends had checked-in. Now, the app not only shows you that information but also shows you nearby businesses, making it the newest local search tool to add to your mobile tool belt. Results are ranked according to the number of check-ins to the location, the location’s star ratings, likes and recommendations. Your network is the immediate decision maker for which businesses are shown to you. However when no data from your network of friends is available, the larger Facebook network will step in and help determine the rankings for the local businesses that appear on your smartphone screen.
Users of the Nearby app can search or browse local businesses by name or category. Only users who have actually checked-in to the business at some point in the past will be able to rate it, this seems like a great way to legitimize ratings and reviews.
Local Businesses – Get a Facebook Page Now!
If you are a local business owner and don’t have a Facebook page yet, now is the time to get one. This is because if you don’t have a Facebook page for your business, you won’t show up in the Nearby app’s local results. If you already have a Facebook presence, now is a great time to update your page. Make sure all of your information is completely filled out and current. Take special care to update your category because people now use categories as a way to browse local businesses on the app and you don’t want to accidentally appear in the wrong one.
Currently, Nearby is only on Facebook for mobile. However, if the app does well, we don’t see why the company wouldn’t make it available for desktop use as well. What do you think about Facebook’s new venture into the local search realm? Have you used Nearby yet? How does it measure up to the local apps we’re used to using on our mobile devices?
According to Search Engine Land, Google recently announced its improved Google search user interface, a Siri-like female voice that will read you search results and Google Now, an application that takes your calendar, location and other data inputs and gives you information it thinks you can use.
Google’s response to Apple’s Siri: Google recently announced its improved voice search including a female assistant that reads certain categories of search results out loud. This new assistant was presented as an extension of voice search.
Google Now: To access Google Now, you will be able to touch the search box to get information based on your current location, the time of day and your Google calendar. This could include information on the local businesses around you, sports scores and train/bus schedules; anything Google thinks you may be interested in at that current time based on the information it can gather about you.