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Mobile Technology and the Internet: the Popularity of the Smart Phone

Updated on June 28, 2013

How Have Smart Phones Changed the Internet?

As smart phones feature more and more in people's everyday lives and the technology which drives them becomes ever more sophisticated, we might wonder if this will change the way we view the internet in any significant way. It may also have implications for web writers and marketers who currently make their living writing to a particular format and design. Do mobile users behave differently to traditional full-screen computer users and if so in what ways?

Mobiles, or cell phones, depending on where you come from, are differ from computers in a number of ways, the most obvious being the much smaller screen size but there are also significant differences in the way users interact with the technology. Purpose designed mobile apps are now a multi-billion dollar industry and for social media there are big plusses but for those who depend on seo for income, there seems to be little to gain financially from the rise of internet mobile use and maybe much to lose.

Is it a case of adapt or die..? In other words, do seo marketers need to rethink conventional techniques in order to find some way to exploit the mobile marketplace? The answer of course, is yes, they do.

Eager iphone customers lining up outside a Broadway store in 2007
Eager iphone customers lining up outside a Broadway store in 2007 | Source

Internet on the Move

If trends act in accordance with predictions, then long-term the answer would have to be yes. Already there are significant numbers of people who use mobiles as their main internet access point, This particularly true of the youth market and in poorer countries and low income situations where mobiles are cheaper to acquire than desktops and laptops but the sheer convenience of mobiles also makes it appealing to the general potpourri of internet users. As the technology continues to develop, it makes sense that the mobile web alternative will become even more attractive. Internet on the go is fast becoming the norm.

One way mobile use differs from the traditional web is in its content - there is more emphasis on local content and personalisation. Although the search algorithms for mobile technology are subject to changes and updates just like the traditional web, the evaluations are different. It seems that one third of people using mobiles search more for content that relates to their own area. This would seem to have big implications for the big search engines as well as marketers wishing to exploit the mobile market. As seo narrows its focus more on location, more mobile search engines apps are designed to include a users real time GPS location in the web search. Net pundits predict this will make mobile search results even harder to anticipate and track.

Smart phone users tend to take their phones with them everywhere and even when they are engaged in other activities, such as watching TV, shopping or eating out with friends, they will look at their phones at periodic intervals. They have become the world's most ubiquitous piece of technology.

Smart phones are popular all around the world
Smart phones are popular all around the world | Source

A Different MInd-set

Another way mobile users behave very differently from traditional net users is in time use. Whereas traditional net users might spend hours leisurely browsing and surfing, mobile users tend to be much more task focused and the casual clicking of an advertisement designed for a net browser is thus less likely to occur. To garner a mobile users attention and interest, ads and pages need to be designed specifically for mobiles.

Cognizant of the everchanging nature of the internet, there are plenty of seo experts offering advice to those wishing to tackle the mobile market, which will only continue to expand.Keeping ahead of the game is hard but ignoring change can be downright perilous.


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