With the release of Apple’s iPhone 2.0, mobile SEO may be more important than ever.

Michelle Stone - June 11, 2008

With the launch of the new iPhone, announced at the Apple developer’s conference on June 9th, both iPhone 2.0 and Apple’s new MobileMe service generated excitement among the attendees. What’s of interest to many mobile users is not only the new 3G iPhone, but the fact that it will replace AT&T’s EDGE network. Simply put, the new iPhone should make web browsing easier.

What does this mean for SEO? Well, specific to mobile SEO, there could be a shift due to the addition of this new player on the mobile device market. One lucrative market segment that might be challenged by iPhone 2.0 and MobileMe is that of working professionals. Most of these professionals now use the BlackBerry ®, made by Research in Motion (RIMM).

SEO for mobile devices such as the BlackBerry may be a smaller part of the SEO big picture, especially when compared to “desktop” SEO, but it shouldn’t be ignored. In what might be a stroke of irony, some companies with mobile sites — whether it’s a mobile sub-domain, a mobile portion of their primary domain, or even a .mobi site — have ignored SEO best practices used on their desktop sites when creating their mobile sites.

For example, splash pages and forms pages can often be found on mobile sites. Traditionally the home page of a site, mobile or otherwise, has the highest link popularity of any page on the site, and a splash page doesn’t take advantage of that link popularity with competitive keywords.

When it comes to forms, if a mobile site has added forms only for a personalized mobile user experience, it’s better to provide a text link to a non-personalized experience for those users who prefer to use the site while not logged in, or for mobile search engine spiders to crawl. Yes, there are mobile search engine spiders and mobile search engines and databases as well. By keeping to SEO best practices regardless of the forum, you can help to ensure that more content will be crawled and indexed, giving your mobile site more opportunities to be ranked for non-branded keywords.

If you are serious about your search engine optimization and online marketing strategies; you should definitely be contemplating mobile SEO. With cell phone technology providing the ability for subscribers to search, visit, view and buy online, it is going to be crucial to ensure your site is optimized for mobile devices.

Mobile search technology is no longer in its infancy, but adoption of mobile SEO practices has been slow. By taking the SEO best practices you’ve performed on your desktop website and applying it to your mobile site, you can put your website ahead of your competitors. As popular as the iPhone and the BlackBerry and there are many mobile device users who surf the web using other devices, including cell phones. Optimizing pages on your mobile site can help to capture their attention as well.

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