How Does Mobile SEO Differ from Desktop SEO?

Mobile search engine optimisation is affected by location, operating systems, screen size, and more.

Mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular, allowing users to interact with the web in a variety of ways. There are many differences between a desktop computer and a phone or tablet, including how search engines work.

You can optimise your website for desktop search engines as well as mobile search engines in order to reach people on all devices. Mobile search engine optimisation (SEO) is affected by several factors, including the user’s location, the device’s screen size, and the OS. You can hire an SEO Agency in the UK and grow your business and improve your rankings by understanding these differences.

Mobile SEO: What’s different

The best practices for mobile SEO are similar to those for desktop SEO. Due to additional factors, mobile search results are much more variable than desktop searches.

There are many factors that impact which content receives a top ranking, including page organisation, user location, operating system, screen size, and more. Due to the interaction of these variables, search engine crawling, indexing, and ranking processes differ between devices. Any device can benefit from mobile SEO. To understand how search results differ between desktop and mobile, it’s first important to know what differences there are.

Their divergence is as follows:

Search engine results pages (SERPs)

  • Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) differ most between desktop and mobile SEO. Since mobile phones have smaller screens than desktops, Google doesn’t have enough room for two columns. As a result, anything on the right side of a desktop search result will appear above or below organic results, and fewer results will appear on the first page — this is especially true for paid listings. The Knowledge Graph panel is also displayed at the top of mobile SERPs—this is the block of content that summarises the information you need to know without clicking any links. On mobile, Landmarks, Things to Do, and Google My Business results appear at the top of SERPs. As a result of this highly interactive, attractive content, search results are pushed further down the page. On desktops, however, it’s to the right of the search results.


  • Compared to stationary desktop computers, most modern mobile phones have a global positioning system (GPS), which provides more accurate location information to search engines. Even if a device does not have a GPS, mobile phones can provide search engines with location data, which influences search results. As a result, mobile search results can be much more variable than desktop search results. For example, if you search something in Bangkok, the results may be different than if you search in New York. When you’re logged into a Google account on both your desktop computer and mobile phone, desktop searches are also influenced by your mobile phone’s location. The weighting of location information in mobile searches is believed to be higher, meaning the results are influenced more by it. When you search for a restaurant on your phone, you are more likely to get a map result than on your computer. Google’s AdSense platform allows advertisers to geo-target ads based on zip codes or postcodes, so it can also change which pay-per-click ads are shown. MobileMoxie’s SEParator tool lets you test the impact of location on your search rankings.

Phone operating system

  • Operating systems also affect mobile search results. Especially if Google believes the query might be app-related. The search engine is more likely to display an app pack, a colourful grid of app icons linking directly to an app in the app store. In general, keywords like “run tracker,” “fun game,” and “image editor” tend to rank apps, because they are associated with apps that people use and download frequently. Your phone’s operating system, generally iOS or Android, determines which app packs Google will show you. Due to the fact that most apps don’t work on desktops, app packs rarely appear in desktop search results.

Screen size

  • The search results from Google are adapted to the device that you are using. The number of results displayed on the page is affected by this. With the advent of tablets, SERP layouts became even more varied.

Other factors

  • In addition, Google has added new search capabilities, some of which are mobile-specific. Google, for example, now offers augmented reality (AR) search. Using this technology, Google can provide search results based on what it finds in your mobile device’s camera frame. If you open the camera on your mobile device with your golden retriever dog in the frame, Google will identify the breed of dog and surface search results. Experts predict that mobile search capabilities will become more interactive in the future.