Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Desktop search turns a downward corner?

This Quick-Tip shares an interesting observation about the trends in search-volumes - and is a reminder to think about what your blog is like for readers who use mobile devices.

Today I noticed an interesting post from on-line marketing firm Blind Five Year Old, who've been tracking comScore search-engine ratings for seven years.

comScore's ratings are all about relative market share of the search-engines.

But BFYO has used them to look at overall search engine volumes and has noticed that
August 2012 was the first time that US desktop search volume declined year-on-year

This means that there were less desktop searches (in the USA) in August 12 than there were in August 11. Year-on-year comparisons are often better than monthly ones because they can cancel out the effects of seasonal patterns (holidays, starting school, major events, etc)

Now this doesn't mean that people have stopped doing more searching than before. Most likely it means that they've started to do more of their searching on mobile devices (tablets, smartphones, etc).

For Blogger users, it means that:
If your blog depends on search to get readers (or even just new readers)
Your blog topic is one that people will search for using a mobile device
You need to think about how how your blog looks and works on mobile devices, and most probably to enable a mobile-template for it.

This doesn't apply to everyone. For example, Blogger is primarily desktop software, so I'm not really worried about the mobile experience given by Blogger-Hints-and-Tips.   But my public-transport blog now gets about 25% of its visitors from mobile devices - and I think this will grow. So it matters there.

Even if you don't think that your blog would have "mobile-appeal" or appear in local search results - don't forget that many people now like to catch up on reading using their smartphone in in-between moments.  If your blog is "a good read" rather than desktop-specific reference information, then being mobile-friendly might be the difference between whether people subscribe to you or not.

Mobile templates, by the way, are fantastic because they let Blogger-users deliver sites that are responsive with far less effort than owners of conventional websites are having to put in.

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