The topic of mobile internet and mobile search is becoming more and more popular as technology and accessibility develops. Marketing specialist no longer foresee that mobile revolution will happen in the nearest future, but instead claim that this revolution is happening right now. The statement is proved by various statistics and trends showing the tremendous growth of mobile devices and mobile internet usage. Google itself claims that more and more people use mobile search and that such growth is likely to continue.
Despite the trends we may assume that classifieds sector is not a natural topic for people to research using mobile devices. Who would buy a car or a house by looking for it through their smartphone? Who would post an ad through their iPhone? Nevertheless, classifieds sector cannot be oblivious to those trends anymore. Bluerank agency has conducted a research using Google AdWords keyword tool to find out the popularity of mobile search for branded keywords connected with the classifieds sector (top classifieds portals from various mid-west European countries).
Thanks to Google AdWords keyword tool we can verify the popularity of selected searches among people using desktop devices, WAP-based mobile phones and high-end mobile devices (such as iPhones). The popularity of mobile searches for classifieds websites vary throughout Europe. The most “mobile” countries are UK, Ireland, Switzerland and Denmark. More than 5% of all classifieds-related searches there are generated by users through mobile devices. On the other side there are countries with no more than 2% of mobile searches: Hungary, Slovenia, Portugal, Finland and Belgium.
Moreover, we can divide European countries to those where smartphones are more popular for accessing the internet than mobile phones and those where people still use mobile phones more often than smartphones. The border runs more or less from north to south. On the “smartphone” side there are Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria… and partly Spain with even share of mobile and smartphone searches. Of course, this “border” will gradually move east, because the development of smartphones is inevitable and soon there will be hardly any mobile phones left.
Although the popularity of classifieds-related mobile searches is quite substantial for the majority of countries, there are not many classifieds websites that are optimized for mobile devices, and hardly any that take into account the mobile SEO. Out of 164 tested portals only 22 had developed a separate lightweight version for mobile devices. That is only 13%! And only one website was fully optimized for mobile search taking into account the SEO issues: content indexation and duplication. The research shows clearly that only 1 in 7 classifieds websites is optimized for mobile devices.
The growth of mobile search is inevitable. People will eventually use mobile devices not only for calling, texting and gaming, but also for searching, and this trend will also apply to classifieds sector. No matter how sophisticated smartphones will become they will remain small in size, thus desktop-oriented websites will never by 100% perfectly fit for mobile users. Mobile websites will eventually become a standard in every country.
The research was done by Jacek Tkaczuk, Group SEO manager at Bluerank, on 187 phrases – names of classifieds websites from selected countries and the translations of the word “classified ads”. Websites were selected so that to choose the most popular portals from each of the countries, basing on the number of users reported in Google AdPlanner tool.
During the analysis we used the data presented Google AdWords keyword tool with exact match filter and appropriate country and language selected.
Bluerank is a Polish search engine marketing agency providing SEO and PPC services, including mobile SEO services, monetizing search, usability of search, research and analytical projects as well as comprehensive SEM strategies for the companies from all over the world.