24 Feb 2012

Hardware Innovations and SEO… and Google Glasses

No one will deny that over the last couple years, organic search has changed by leaps and bounds. A portion of these changes can be attributed to changes in the hardware we use and how we interact with that hardware. In this article, I’ll explore some of these innovations and how they may benefit websites that you would not initially expect. I’ll then take a brief gaze into the future, Google Glasses, because who doesn’t like new toys?


Mobile Optimization & Ecommerce Sites

Mobile is now omnipresent in our lives, never before have we been so connected – hi, Mom! The segment of sites benefiting the most from the rise of mobile are commonly thought to be social networks. Facebook has over 425 million mobile users across various mobile platforms. However, the impact of mobile extends far beyond that. You’d be surprised how many websites are receiving mobile traffic today and their site template is broken because their site is not optimized for it.

One segment of sites that really stand to benefit from mobile are ecommerce sites. Being optimized for mobile is especially important if you have a brick-and-mortar location because, according to one study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project called, “The Rise Of In-store Mobile Commerce“, of a 1,000-person survey group:

  • 28% of participants used their phone to call a friend while in a store to help them make a buying decision
  • 24% used a phone to look up product reviews
  • 25% used a phone to comparison shop

Beyond just being optimized for mobile, consider how you can connect to this audience using mobile marketing.


Tablet Use & B2B

According to EMarketer, tablet usage went up 158.6% between 2010 and 2011. EMarketer also forecasts that 1 in 3 online consumers will use a tablet in 2014. Although, it is already widely known that the newspaper industry has looked to tablet as the new hope, opportunity stretches far beyond the newspaper industry. According to James Furbush, in his article “2012: The Year of Business Tablet Use“,

“More and more organizations are turning to the iPad to help employees work more efficiently and effectively.

“Many companies have formally adopted business tablet use to control the influx of personal devices in the enterprise, and to bring the benefits of tablets — mobility, flexibility and ease of use — to more employees. And enterprise iPad use is leading the charge.”

Additionally, the TabletPC Review article quotes ABI Research claiming that while worldwide annual tablet shipments may go over 120 million in 2015, 22% of companies in the US have formally deployed tablets and 78% plan to do so by 2013 – not including “unofficial” tablet use in enterprises. ;) This rising acceptance of tablet in the workplace present a nascent opportunity for B2B sites in connecting with this new segment of users.


Google Glasses & Beyond

Last night, I learned about a Google X project called “Google Glasses.” According to “Behind the Google Goggles“, Virtual Reality by Nick Bilton,

“Several people who have seen the glasses, but who are not allowed to speak publicly about them, said that the location information was a major feature of the glasses. Through the built-in camera on the glasses, Google will be able to stream images to its rack computers and return augmented reality information to the person wearing them. For instance, a person looking at a landmark could see detailed historical information and comments about it left by friends. If facial recognition software becomes accurate enough, the glasses could remind a wearer of when and how he met the vaguely familiar person standing in front of him at a party.”

When I first read this, I thought it was awesome. I can imagine everyone at SEO conferences having these! ;) I also think that, hypothetically, if these were to take off, they would be revolutionary for local search. However, the article goes on to add that,

“In a more serious vein is the almost certain possibility of privacy issues and ubiquitous advertisements.”

Nevertheless, I think that Google Glasses are cool, although, the article does say that users display weird head motions while looking at things that aren’t really there.

So, I discussed two innovations that “worked” and a brand new one. What I did not discuss is the countless others that did not work, since we all know that the iPhone was definitely not the first smartphone ever invented. What do you guys think of Google Glasses? Do you think it has the potential to “take off” or do you guys think that these will be weird oddities at a garage sale 15 years from now?