Will Optimization For Mobile Apps Soon Outweigh Search Engine Optimization?

I wrote recently about the concept of location becoming more important than standard SEO in terms of mobile search, but with the proliferation of mobile apps becoming a de-facto branding method for many advertisers entering the mobile channel, optimization is taking on an entirely different role. A great article published by Patricia Brusha on HospitalityNet …   Read More

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Will Optimization For Mobile Apps Soon Outweigh Search Engine OptimizationI wrote recently about the concept of location becoming more important than standard SEO in terms of mobile search, but with the proliferation of mobile apps becoming a de-facto branding method for many advertisers entering the mobile channel, optimization is taking on an entirely different role.

A great article published by Patricia Brusha on HospitalityNet discusses mobile apps and their growing popularity among marketers, and posses the simple question “could apps be the new search?”  She describes the current state of mobile apps and likens it to a time 10 years ago when Websites were gaining popularity.  At that time, consumers would ask a business “do you have a website?” and usually be quite impressed when the business would say yes.  Today, not having a website means you’re really not a business, and the same concept will soon evolve with mobile apps as well.

In terms of optimization, a paradigm shift is beginning to happen in the mobile space whereby marketers are putting less importance on search keywords in hopes of driving consumer awareness of their Website, and instead are having to optimize different forms of media in entirely new ways.  Mobile apps are a perfect example.  Users usually discover mobile apps in app stores or other centralized repositories — not in search engines — and as such, those behind the mobile apps have to optimize their apps to be in a position where they’re noticed.

In Apple’s App Store, for example, a brand distributing their app has the opportunity to place 7-8 keywords as tags on their app.  This alone has to suffice in making your app known to consumers searching for those specific keywords.  With there still only being a limited number of apps available — around 140,000 at last count — basic tag-based optimization can be successful, but as the market is flooded with hundreds of thousands and even millions of apps, optimization methods will have to emerge much like it did with search.

What types of optimization methods are still yet to be known, but as app distribution evolves and the ecosystem surrounding the industry begins to take shape, we’ll undoubtedly be confronted with the new concept of MAO (Mobile App Optimization) rather than SEO.

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13 comments

  1. reactorr

    It won't replace it, but will require SEO's to expand their skills to optimize sites made for mobile.

  2. Maria David

    We can’t deny this but I think that regular websites will never gonna be substitute for the with mobile websites.

  3. best seo

    ultimately, even apps rely on SEs. if ever we are going to shift from SEO to AppO is going to be a smooth change. One cannot replace another, from several reasons. SEO may be beaten by advertising campaigns or anything similar. Probably, at a certain point, apps will self optimize for SEs but the center of gravity will remain on search engines.

  4. matias baise

    I am also sceptical but it is a really good point that having an app will soon be the thing to do for a business. And of course the first move for them will be to start withe iPhone…
    Does it means it will be the end of websites? I don’t think so. Time will tell…

  5. Richeale

    I don’t think sooooooo.That the regular websites will be changed with mobile one.

  6. Gregg B

    Once businesses and consumers realize that the functionality of apps can be replaced by HTML5 on a web-enabled mobile phone, the importance of apps will decline. SEO will remain important as a way to find both your desktop and mobile presence.

    Looking ahead, location based services has a better chance to outweigh seo than optimization for mobile apps.

  7. jdblue

    Amazing technology..Mobile Apps can be useful in an Online Marketing Business.

  8. frank

    Are your figures speculation? or do you have data supporting this claim? If so I’m interested to learn more. shoot me over an email to frank[at]mobilizemedia.com. We are always looking for good information and good people.

  9. Joey606

    Everybody is talking about Android. But they still don’t look at Maemo5 which is the (in my opinion) best mobile OS i’ve ever seen.
    But back to the topic: it don’t think too that the regular will be changed yet. Perhaps in 10 years. But in 10 years we will have flying cars too 😀 And a mobile phone won’t be a mobile phone.

  10. Justin

    Frank – The example of 140,000 apps is just iPhone/iPod Touch apps…adding Blackberry, WinMo, Android and the others add several thousand, but iPhone apps represent the majority.

    Mobile Marketer – I would have to agree, Android is making huge strides and will one day rival iPhone, no question…

  11. Mobile marketer

    Because android is still new. In one year those numbers will be 50 – 50

  12. frank

    Question how many of those apps are Android vs Iphone. I would say that 95-98% on Iphone.

  13. DVD duplication

    I don’t think that regular websites gonna be changed with mobile ones.

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