Last week Google announced that Googlebot-Mobile now crawls with a smartphone user-agent in addition to the previous feature phone users-agents. The information crawled will be used in mobile search to improve user experience. The new crawler will optimize content displayed on smartphones where it is specifically made for smartphones.
Here are the main user-agent strings that Googlebot-Mobile now uses:
Feature phones Googlebot-Mobile
SAMSUNG-SGH-E250/1.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 UP.Browser/126.96.36.199.c.1.101 (GUI) MMP/2.0 (compatible; Googlebot-Mobile/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html) DoCoMo/2.0 N905i(c100;TB;W24H16) (compatible; Googlebot-Mobile/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)
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)
One really cool function about this new crawler is the Skip Redirect for Smartphone Optimized Pages. Basically what this does is skips all the re-direct (I assume they will still give you link value for them but haven't verified this) and only show the final destination URL that mobile user will go too. This is all part of Google trying to help user experience in the ever growing mobile arena. Over the past couple months Google has been consistently improving mobile reporting and user experience for all it's users.
Currently, publishers can monetize their mobile sites using AdSense for Mobile Content. Custom Search Ads for Mobile Sites, a new product from Google allows business to easily grow their business through mobile ads. These mobile ads will be tied into the new mobile search results providing publishers better targeting abilities. For example if you have a website with custom search variables, it will allow you to target specific ads to specific pages and search queries within your specific site. Advertisers can also customize font size, background color and gradient to better match their site.
Google is currently accepting applications to test this new feature out. To join visit their Custom Search Ads page.
It is fair to say that 2011 has seen Google deliver on their "mobile. Businesses are now getting started online with mobile instead of just wondering if they should advertise to mobile users. If you aren't advertising to mobile users may be missing out on millions of people that are buying products online.
According to Google:
- 79% of smartphone consumers use their phones to help with shopping, from comparing prices, to finding more product info, to locating a retailer.
- 70% use their smartphones while in a store.
- 77% have contacted a business via mobile, with 61% calling and 59% visiting the local business.
- 44% of searches for last minute gifts this holiday season will come through mobile phones.
- Mobile searches on Black Friday rose 200% from last year.
- Tablet traffic grew 440% in 2011 from 2010.