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What publishers and bloggers need to know about tablet and mobile SEO

September 3, 2013


Dan Meehan is founder/CEO of PadSquad

Dan Meehan is founder/CEO of PadSquad

By Daniel Meehan

Ask any online publisher or blogger about tablet and mobile and you are likely to get a similar reaction: “Oh yeah, we are seeing more and more of our traffic coming from mobile devices.”

Depending on the Web site and the category of content, mobile devices constitute anywhere from 25-60 percent of overall audience traffic each month.

Mobile Web Internet usage is ramping way faster than desktop Internet usage did. Just ask Morgan Stanley’s Mary Meeker, who calls this the fifth major technology cycle of the past half-century, or “The Era of the Mobile Internet.”

SEO simple
As such, online publishers need to prepare now for the mobile explosion of traffic to their content. Not to mention, recent reports from comScore show that tablet and mobile device traffic can grow a publisher’s total overall traffic. So it is very important for the business of digital publishing and media.

Yet, what are those online publishers doing about this massive trend that affects their business? For the vast majority of them, the answer is nothing yet.

Most online publishers get a very large percentage of their visits and page views from search results. So how does this process change for tablet and mobile devices? It does not for the consumer, or for the referring search engine.

Consumers are still discovering content via search on tablets and smartphones. It does, however, need to change for the online publisher.

Search engines and their search bots and algorithms are making constant changes to how they index and rank content for mobile searches. Google’s SEO Guide is here. It views these searches as dramatically different than the typical “desktop” search. This is extremely important to publishers.

Online publishers now realize that their content needs to be formatted differently for the huge amount of visitors coming to it from tablet and mobile devices, and face a choice of how to do this.

There are numerous vendors offering mobile publishing solutions. Like any emerging technology solution, it is a quickly changing marketplace.

That being said, it is so important to the current and future of online content publishing that Google has actually weighed in, recently announcing changes to its search engine optimization (SEO) rank algorithm for mobile pages, and with recommendations for online publishers.

Addressing Web
According to Google, responsive Web design has three defining configurations:

1. The site is found at one URL on all devices

2. The same HTML is served to all devices

3. CSS media queries of JavaScript adaptations are used to change how the page is rendered on different devices

So what does this mean for an online publisher or blogger who is attempting to take advantage of the mobile future? Simply this:

• Your audiences are now or very soon will be demanding to have content delivered to them based on their mobile device of choice.

• If you do not provide this content experience to your audiences, someone else will, or already is.

• If you rely on SEO for large amounts of your traffic, you need to have a tablet and mobile solution that works best for search engines.

• You cannot afford to get this wrong, as this is the future of content publishing.

• Talk to experts in the market and your online publisher colleagues, and find a partner who can quickly and easily adapt your content for maximum mobile viewing.

Daniel Meehan is founder/CEO of PadSquad, New York. Reach him at 

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