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Google Patents The Mobile Search Blend


The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently approved a patent application from Google which forecasts a greater focus on mobile pages/versions in mobile search results going into 2013.

Apparently the U.S. Patent office works on Christmas Day, or simply wanted to offer Google a Christmas gift before the FTC Antitrust case ruling, as it approved Google’s Blending Mobile Search Results patent under USPTO number 8341147 on December 25th 2012.

Let’s take an initial look at the patent to see what it might tell us from a mobile search marketing perspective.

What Are The Key Points?

  • The mobile search result quality scores and the generic search result quality scores were generated according to different scoring formulas.
  • Based on one or more terms in the search query, the search query is classified as a mobile query.
  • The search service also directs the query to the mobile search engine (step 230).
  • To calculate the scores, the mobile search engine uses a different scoring algorithm, or formula, than the one used by the generic search engine. Using the search result quality scores, the mobile search engine ranks the mobile search results (step 245).

What Does This Mean For Search Marketers?

Search marketing translation below each point:

Patent Point #1

  • The mobile search result quality scores and the generic search result quality scores were generated according to different scoring formulas.
What this means for search marketing: 
  • Clarifies that mobile search results and generic (aka desktop) search results are different.
Patent Point #2
  • Based on one or more terms in the search query, the search query is classified as a mobile query.
What this means for search marketing: 
  • This indicates that Google knows just from the keywords alone if you are on a mobile device and thus your intent, although it does have access to your user agent to be sure. Just ask the few Windows Phone 8 users.
Patent Point #3
  • The search service also directs the query to the mobile search engine (step 230).
What this means for search marketing: 
  • Affirms there is a separate search engine index for mobile queries.
Patent Point #4
  • To calculate the scores, the mobile search engine uses a different scoring algorithm, or formula, than the one used by the generic search engine. Using the search result quality scores, the mobile search engine ranks the mobile search results (step 245).
What this means for search marketing: 
  • Not only is there a different mobile search engine but it has different priorities in ranking and mobile pages will have an edge.

OK, What Should I Do About It?

You can’t rely on the same ol’ same ol’ desktop SEO practices while mobile search continues to grow, with it already achieving 20% of all search in 2012 according to RKG and Covario’s own studies.

You can address the mobile searchers intent by targeting mobile related keywords separate from the desktop experience, optimally with the use of dynamic serving or at least a different mobile URL.

Each page needs to provide clear signals that it is targeted to a  mobile device, this can be directly called out in its DocType and affirmed in its page size.

Finally, the page must show that it is useful to the mobile searcher by providing concise, to-the-point information, a phone number, the nearest address, and easy social-sharing functionality.

 

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