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BizReport : Search Marketing : November 17, 2014

Research reveals need for marketers to understand mobile search ranking factors

Research comparing mobile search results with those on a desktop highlights the need for marketers to be aware of how their pages rank on mobile by understanding those factors that correlate with higher positions.

by Helen Leggatt

Searches carried out on a mobile device have increased significantly over the last couple of years - five-fold according to Google. Furthermore, the results of the same search conducted on a mobile differ widely to the same search done on a desktop.

Research carried out by Searchmetrics in which 10,000 keyword searches were analyzed, focusing on the top 30 results, found that 36% of URLs displayed in mobile searches differed from those returned from the same search carried out on a desktop. Nearly a quarter (23%) were results from completely different websites or domains.

The difference in search results is due to Google, and other search engines, using additional user signals, such as location, to provide more relevant results. Furthermore, mobile searches tend to bring up pages with small file sizes as they are quicker to download and minimize users' data demands, as well as displaying pages with fewer back-links as more sharing is done via social media on mobile devices.

"With the volume of mobile searches increasing rapidly, marketers and SEO teams need to be aware of how their pages rank in mobile results, and understand the factors that correlate with higher positions ‒ as they are not necessarily the same as for desktop SEO," said Searchmetrics founder and chief technology officer Marcus Tober.

aradaphotography /

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: desktop, Google, mobile, research, search marketing, SEO

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