Internet Marketing

SMX West 2012 Lessons in Social and Mobile Search

Mike Fitterer

The last week of February, search marketers from around the world assembled in sometimes-sunny San Jose, CA to geek out and discuss the latest internet marketing trends. Due to massive generosity from the Portent C-Suite I had the privilege of attending.

For those of you who were unable to attend SMX West 2012, this post is your cheat-sheet for 2 of the hottest topics covered: social and mobile search.

Social Search

Naturally the onset of Google+ as the most important thing since, well… Facebook, has search marketers clamoring for G+ information. Here’s what I can offer you:

  • Google claims that personalized results are “just trying to make the interaction for you “as a human” in line with what you’re trying to do.” In their eyes social search exists to encourage interactions between connections based on searches.
  • Is social the new link building? No, but it will become increasingly important as more interaction occurs. We already know Google+ will build your search traffic.
  • Freshness of content is becoming more and more important.
  • Utilizing Google+ features like Direct Connect can help businesses connect with customers.
  • How often a link is shared on the web and Tweeted is a ranking signal.
  • Google and Bing currently don’t know what social updates from your friends you ignore and what you’re interested in. Expect that to change.

Mobile Marketing = Very Important

Targeting mobile users was a consistent theme throughout many of the presentations. We’re clearly still in the infancy of mobile browsing, but mobile searches will become increasingly prevalent in the coming years. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Mobile Mindset: People perform mobile searches because they’re micro tasking, searching locally, or bored.
  • Design for visibility. A phone is about 10% the size of a desktop screen.
  • Make your mobile landing pages seamlessly integrate with the desktop site to make information more accessible for customers.
  • Use mobile site redirects. It’s important to give users the chance to go to the full site.
  • Use the GoMoMeter – a tool that shows you what mobile users and competitors are doing.


So that’s a brief recap of the SMX West 2012 mobile and social discussions and speeches. Did any of you attend? I’d love to hear about other SMX West 2012 experiences, or answer any questions you may have below in the comments section.

As a bonus, I’ve included some pictures from old school Google below.

Did you know Google got its start in SVP of Advertising Susan Wojcicki’s garage? Here’s a lovely picture from 1998 of two studious fellows who would eventually become insanely influential world figures at some internet company or something.


Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Image taken from

Here’s the first server they ever used, dating back to their Stanford days. Yes, it’s partially encased in Legos.

Google Server

Image taken from the Stanford Infolab.

Mike Fitterer

Mike Fitterer

PPC Team Lead
PPC Team Lead

Mike began his career as an International Sales & Marketing Manager living and working in Germany, focusing on product placement, marketing, and sales. For the past 9 years he's worked at Portent. Mike manages Portent's PPC Team and also works on strategy development and relationship management for Portent's top-tier PPC clients. He enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 young sons, travel, learning new languages, soccer, and supporting Seattle sports teams.

Start call to action

See how Portent can help you own your piece of the web.

End call to action
Close Mobile Menu Button
Close search overlay