SEO in the Apple Age

Saturday, April 3 saw the launch of Apple’s newest foray into the unknown, the tablet computer iPad.: Apple is hoping for a repeat of their success with the iPhone and wants to convince people that they not only want an iPad, but in a few months, they won’t be able to believe they’ve lived without one for so long.

After selling 300,000 units on the first day, experts are still mixed about the long-term viability of the iPad.  And with the impending launch of a new mobile ad platform, search engine marketers are wondering how they can best integrate the new model into their campaigns. 

Apple is rumored to be launching the platform to compete against Google’s AdMob, the goal of which is to place ads in and around software in the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.  Since Apple bought a company that makes the tools to do this in applications, Quattro Wireless, in January, speculation has been building about what this could mean for not only Apple and Google, but those marketers who work within their worlds.  Geoff Blaber, CCS Insight analyst, says, “I think iPhone OS 4.0 is likely to be far more than a feature release.  This could kick start Apple’s move into mobile advertising following its acquisition of Quattro Wireless and escalate a mounting rivalry with Google.  Google and Apple both view burgeoning demand for applications as a fresh opportunity for mobile advertising.  For both companies, software platforms are an enabler for far bigger ambitions in mobile.” 

For search engine optimisers and marketers, it brings the possibility of more targeted campaigns.  Again, based on speculation, some say that the tech giant could offer “hypertargeting,” so advertisers can pinpoint and target customers based on their geographic locations.  This would allow for better location-based advertising.  Complicating the matter, though, is developing plans for both Apple’s OS and Google’s Android OS, neither of which is the clear winner of this rivalry yet.  

What would this mean for marketersPatricia Brusha, who cofounded an internet marketing company geared towards travel and tourism (A Couple of Chicks), says, “There is a limit by Apple of only 7-8 keywords that you can use to tag your app.  However, besides finding it through the app store, you can promote and highlight your app the same way you did your website, social media sites, on your cards, email signature, and print collateral.”

Apple hopes to capitalize on the increasing demand for better mobile searches, and optimisers hope to capitalize on the changes to provide better service to their clients.

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