Nokia has announced the Lumia 710, a $50 smartphone that will be available in the first months of 2012 through T-Mobile. News of affordable smartphones and unlimited data plans will most definitely weed out and replace feature flip phones and pay-as-you go phones, which then will have an affect on mobile optimizations, or rather, the resources spent on mobile opts for feature phones (googlebot-mobile). Speaking of mobile optimizations...
New Googlebot-Mobile user-agent string for Smartphones
Google announced Thursday, December 15th, new user-agent strings specific for smartphones:
Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7 (compatible; Googlebot-Mobile/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)
Being such a new development from Google, it is hard to understand the implications of this. This new user-agent almost seems to imply that the idea of one web / one URL is now void. A Quote from Google on mobile specific content from 2/22/11:
“Notice that we currently do not crawl with Googlebot-Mobile using a smartphone User-agent string. Thus at the current time, a correctly-configured content serving system will serve Googlebot-Mobile content only for the traditional phones...For now, we expect smartphones to handle desktop experience content so there is no real need for mobile-specific effort from webmasters.”
Nonetheless, something to note is the fact that Google will be removing the redirect for mobile users in order to improve the mobile user experience and cut down on load time. This is an awesome development for everyone!
International sites can utilize new markup for multilingual content
Revisiting this as it is a hot topic for current SEO this week. Websites that serve content for multiple languages now have an additional markup tool to add to their SEO bag. Google announced their support for “multilingual content” in a post released Monday, December 5th and Adam Audette wrote a great post explaining the new multilingual markup in his post “Advanced International SEO with rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x”.” The new hreflang attribute (rel=”alternate” hreflang”<language>”) allows sites to specify the language, country and URLs of the translated content. In addition to the hreflang attribute, the rel=canonical can be used to specify a preferred version.
Google vs Bing: current market share numbers
Interesting to note - Matt McGee posted this week on SearchEngineLand.com the current market share numbers of Google, Bing and Yahoo. Google saw a slight drop from 65.60% in October to 65.40% in November. Bing hit a solid 15% and Yahoo still holding onto 15.10% of the share. Note, these numbers do not include mobile searches, which I suspect are much different with the poularity of Andriod phones.
No Panda Updates until the new year
Panda fearing webmasters can enjoy the holidays as Google Tweeted this week “no major Panda updates until the new year.”
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