Google's Mobile Search Does Not Distinguish Between Mobile and Non-Mobile Results

Apr 2, 2007 • 6:59 am | comments (1) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine

A post on Cre8asite Forums asks if Google is considering addressing the needs for mobile users when they search. The member says that web results that are tailored to mobile phones are mixed with regular web results that may not display properly on mobile phones:

Hi guys, I'm quite annoyed by the fact that Google Mobile is now mixing web results with mobile results depending on the users query. It seems like mobile websites aren't given any priority and are kind of buried.

The discussion has since centered around the variety of websites that are mobile-friendly, and many seem to not be usable towards mobile devices.

One user's experience is not at all too disappointing:

Sometimes I browse the web using my Windows PDA when I'm on a train or stuck bored somewhere. Relatively speaking, GMail is great, Cre8 and SEOR are good, decent enough, digg good until you try to vote, and reddit functional. Most sites eventually make it through OK. I use the built-in Wifi if I can get a connection or GPRS.

So is it an enjoyable process? Definitely not, but it sure beats being bored.

Yahoo Go is good. Live Search, with the mapping software, is amazing - I love it! I don't have GPS but I might splurge for the hardware just to make it completely functional.

On the other hand, there is a bit of indifference from other users.

I don't think there should be a difference between the web and the mobile web, so if google blur the lines, I'm not fussed.

Moderator Barry Welford chimes in with the following food for thought:

I'm not sure I'm understanding what's happening here. It sounds to me, Adrian, that Google is agreeing with you that there should be no difference between the web and the mobile web. So it's choosing to ignore any website that is specifically designed for mobile devices...

I believe human behaviour will determine whether there is only one web or whether a Mobile Web develops that is to some degree independent of the regular web. Some of the dot Mobi initiatives seem to allow that to happen. If so, then Google will have to bow to reality and have a true Mobile search that works for all Mobile websites.

Will we see the change with the .mobi extension?

Having just gotten off a plane myself (literally within the last 2 hours) and seeing how many sites were so unfriendly towards mobile users (my Treo hates just about every website), I would certainly welcome a more mobile-device friendly search environment. I would think that an algorithm that appeals to mobile users is definitely in order, especially since Google has been interested in going in the mobile direction for quite awhile.

Discussion continues at Cre8asite Forums.

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