Google Nexus 4 / Mayan Calendar from Peta-de-aztlan, Creative Commons
If you are reading this Search Engine Land column, then you survived the “final day” of the Mayan Calendar as the 13th B’ak’tun resets to 0 like an odometer after 1,872,000 days, and with it, the start of the 5th world, according to Mayan culture.
This 5th world is said to be one of enlightenment, higher consciousness, and great transformation, which in my view, could only mean a concerted focus on mobile…for those that remain.
Perhaps this world could even usher in that Year of Mobile, which is talked about seemingly every year for the past half decade.
So, how do you skate to where mobile search is going, not where it has been, in this enlightened mobile age entering 2013?
A critical piece of a site’s development and the evolution of search engines is discerning the differing intent of a user when searching with the same semantic term, but on different devices.
Truly understanding the user’s intent is not merely a matter of rearranging the deckchairs of visuals with responsive design, but more a matter of steering the ship to that intent with dynamic serving.
Evolution of Man image from Bryan Wright, Creative Commons
A search engine can better understand implied intent if it can better discern a site’s semantic meaning.
Semantic meaning for a site can be better clarified and discerned using markup coding and HTML5 elements, which Google rewards by increasing that site’s potential with rich snippets in its results.
Google has even made this easier with a WYSIWYG markup tool, which puts the correct Schema.org microdata in your code delineating the meaning of your site’s data, to further this expansion.
Spatial & Temporal Awareness
Google wants greater semantic clarity with an emphasis on location and time data, which goes to the heart of a user’s intent on mobile devices.
This location and timing data, Google can use to better the website and advertiser results it displays in combination with data from a user’s actual device.
HTML5, with the user’s permission via the browser, is evolving to provide that access to a user’s location, camera, voice commands, and most all of the devices’ functionality to sites and search engines.
In the interim, this data can be accessed by Google directly from the device itself, as its Android platform is already on 75 percent of all mobile devices worldwide and a near necessity layer on iOS devices for mapping, search, and video watching.
Mobile Survivalist Preparation
This may remind people of another doomsday scenario involving Skynet from Terminator becoming self aware, but that originally was to have already started on August 4, 1997, interestingly, exactly a year and a month before Google incorporated on September 4, 1998.
Just as the actual dates for Skynet’s self awareness in the Terminator series got constantly pushed later in time, so too, will the Mayan calendar’s end; but, today’s reality of mobile search is what people should really prepare for to survive online.
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