For quite a few years while the SEO business was booming there was a significant market for SEO that was completely ignored. Mobile SEO was long considered a myth. Something that you didn’t really have to do because it wasn’t all that useful and mobile search wasn’t that important anyway, as Steve Jobs himself said back in 2010.

Cut to two years later when marketing experts are in a virtual feeding frenzy touting the new mobile advertising boom, driven by the exponential increase in search traffic. Suddenly the mobile search market is again the next big thing, 2012 is the year of “Mobile” and mobile SEO is again on everybody’s lips and once again experts are claiming that there is no such thing, or that there’s no real difference between it and the normal job that every search engine optimization agency is constantly doing.

So how exactly is mobile SEO different? Surely people search in the same way on every device. Well, not exactly, not by a long shot. Mobile search has always been different, more localized and it has always been the most different in the retail and  services business.  For instance somebody searching for a cheap sandwich place nearby at noon on Tuesday will have a different outlook and likely go to a different business than somebody searching from the comfort of his home. You should also take into account the fact that search results on desktops and mobile platforms vary: mobile search is different, and it often includes localization data to better pinpoint nearby results. The difference in results has not gone unnoticed and a lot of businesses like app studios or restaurants are actively paying for quick and easy Mobile SEO.

A very good practice for anyone interested in mobile SEO is the creation of a separate mobile site for older feature phones and more modern devices. It is important for it to be on a sub folder rather than a sub domain as sub folders perform considerably better. A good site is a great boon to have in the mobile world as they are few and far between, which makes any good mobile site a lot more visible to sites that review mobi stats, potentially earning some high quality backlinks.

With the mobile search market  rapidly increasing in both size and importance it is about time that you start investing in mobile SEO. It isn’t a buzzword, it isn’t a myth and it is different from regular SEO. Mobile SEO is a collection of SEO good practices as applied to the mobile environment. It is also a very good blend of regular and local optimization as local usually factors greatly  into mobile searches.