Groupon Now, a spinoff of the popular Chicago-based deal-finding site, was announced in May and introduced to the wild shortly thereafter.
The service targets smartphone and tablet users with nearby, on-demand deals that can be purchased and used the same day.
In fact, many of them only last a few hours because they are designed to reach the (wo)man on the street, en media res, rather than the stoic homebody combing the net for deals on a 1999 Compaq.
Google has also turned its gaze to mobile users. The company controls 95% of mobile search and more than half of the smartphone market.
In an effort to play an even larger role in simplifying this digital life for consumers, Google has partnered with MasterCard, Citi and a handful of retailers to introduce Google Wallet, a digital means for purchasing items in the real world and online.
The service essentially works as an application on phones (right now, just the Nexus S 4G) that stores information from credit cards, debit cards and loyalty rewards programs (think CVS/pharmacy and Sam’s Club).
Wallet will seamlessly integrate with other products like Google Offers and various other deals sites, allowing for discounts to be taken off automatically through the Google ecosystem.
These are but two of many major plays that large companies are making in an effort to carve out a real space on the mobile Internet. As sales of smartphones and tablets continue to rise, the Internet is building out rather than vertically.
The Net is moving with people through their lives rather than waiting for them at the home or office computer. As a result, Internet advertisers and SEOs must begin to make plans for the inevitable shift.
The actual mechanics of the shift may be a little messy depending on how well businesses can adapt. Anyone around during the early days of search will remember the time companies were jumping on that boat. Many advertisers lose out in trying to import outdated modes of marketing from old systems to new ones.
For those of us who can remember the wild west of web 1.0, doing mobile SEO properly is a spooky experience – because to do it right means we really need to party like it’s 1999.
Once again users are unfamiliar with the medium and their shiny new devices, the big brands are making mistakes trying to port their old marketing experiences to the new medium, and search engines are only just beginning to understand what this new web is all about.
Mobi-thinking also has a short guideline for SEOs looking to sharpen their skills for the oncoming mobile deluge. Some concepts are the same: sites must be designed elegantly and play nicely with Google’s index spiders, users must be attracted to your efforts in one way or another and keywords are still critical.
The differences are also obvious: people do not use phones like PCs, and you have to alter your approach to suit that.
In other words, when searching on mobile, you generally get a choice between the mobile version of a site (if it exists) and a standard version. SERPs then can be populated with a mix of the two and how mobile engines will regulate their algorithms in the future is undetermined.
Luckily, the tools are available and SEOs looking to get their feet wet in this brave new world of mobile search have everything they need to do so.
Image Credit: digitrends