Mobile sites

Google will add more mobile priority to its update menagerie

Pretty sounding search algorithm updates (Hummingbird, Panda, Penguin…) have plunged many digital publishers into peril as their content plummets out of search engine results pages in consequence.

The decline in visitors impacts the performance of ads, which hits revenue. Under pressure from the publisher and ad sales team, the media title’s SEO and editorial teams try to reverse engineer Google’s update and work out new tactics that will improve their search engine performance.

In the main, quality publishers producing compelling shareable editorial need not worry too much about Google algorithm updates. Google’s focus has generally been to prioritise quality content.

However, a key objective of the Hummingbird update is to accommodate the fact that more searches are being conducted, and more content is being consumed, on smartphones.

As people are beginning to use their smartphone’s voice recognition functions to actually talk to Google search apps, Google has started to respond to search terms given in natural speech, a key part of the Hummingbird update.

‘Big whoop’, right? No. Massive whoop, especially for the 68% of the UK’s 175 top publishers do not have a digital site that displays effectively for mobile devices.

85% of consumers favour apps over mobile websites

In the early days of m-commerce it was often asked whether brands should opt for a mobile app or a mobile website.

I think most marketers now accept that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and the decision should be made based on the business needs and aims of individual companies.

However a new report from Compuware suggests that consumer preference is strongly in favour of apps (85%) ahead of mobile sites.

The most common reason for this is that apps are seen to be more convenient (55%), faster (48%) and easier to browse (40%).

Ciao: mobile site review

Shopping comparison and review site Ciao announced a new and improved mobile site last week, which aims to capitalise on the increased usage of smartphones. 

Ciao has experienced a 200% rise in mobile visitors over the last 15 months, so it makes sense to cater for this growing mobile audience.

Mobile site review: What Car?

Following in the footsteps of AutoTrader, automotive publisher What Car? has just released a smartphone-optimised mobile site. 

I tried out the new the site, which can be found at m.whatcar.com,  on an iPhone, and found that the user experience could be improved… 

Mobile commerce: should you have a site or an app?

One trend I’ve noticed lately is that the few UK retailers that have launched mobile commerce services have opted to do this via mobile apps rather than a mobile website. Both Next and Net-A-Porter have the app, but not the mobile site. 

Is there an argument for producing an app rather than a mobile site? Or should retailers be looking to reach as many customers as possible with a mobile site? Or should they have both? 

I’ve listed some of the arguments for and against… 

Mobile news sites: best practice tips

Most of the UK’s newspapers now have mobile versions of their websites, but many could provide a better range of content and user experience.

Here are some best practice tips for mobile newspaper sites…