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Is SEO for mobiles, tablets, and PCs different?

Technological advancement has made it easy for anyone from around the globe to access different sites. This prompted Google to develop an algorithm for people searching on tablets and smartphones. It is worth noting that 70% of all Internet time is spent on mobile devices; thus, the impact of mobile on Google and other search engines cannot be denied. Due to the importance of mobile phones, Google has set a mobile-first indexing policy that ranks highly in search results. Our experts take us through some of the key differences between mobile SEO and desktop SEO.

Click-Through Rate

The main focus of SEO is on where search results appear on search pages. One of the points of difference between mobile SEO and desktop SEO is the clickthrough rate.


If you contrast the click-through rate (CTR) between desktop and mobile, you will discover that the CTR for mobile is way lower compared to desktop. The CTR for the first and second positions on mobile is 24% and 14%, respectively. It continues to drop until it reaches the fifth position. The CTR jumps from 6.8% to 9% from positions four to five.

The main question is why is there a CTR drop that is less for mobile? This may be attributed to different cards for each listing. Another reason the CTR drop is less significant on mobile is that there are photos in listings. A user may be tempted to click on a specific listing due to its appealing video thumbnail or photo.


Search results on desktops have more space thanks to the wider landscape-oriented screen. This implies that it is easy to have numerous sponsored ads and search results. On a desktop, the CTR is 31% and drops to 15% from first to the second position, respectively. This may be attributed to the vast number of listings on one page, prompting the users to go with the first option instead of going through the other options.

Search Layout

The difference in search layout between desktop and mobile is mainly due to screen space. A case in point is online casinos and their affiliates. These are sectors that invest hugely in optimizing their sites for both desktops and mobile devices. Potential gamblers start by researching on the internet to see which casinos offer the flexibility of gambling on their chosen devices. And that is where expert reviews of new casinos come in handy because some users prefer to have the option of playing on the go. The sites that have been listed have the most up-to-date games and features. The next step then is to visit the chosen platform. However, such users need a good layout irrespective of their device. Luckily, the sites recommended are built for mobile and desktop users alike.


Mobile device screens are way smaller than desktop screens. They are also vertical, meaning that they will have fewer results than the desktop. Google also has different search layouts for mobile that often contain pictures, taking up more room than desktop. The displayed search results on mobile may also have more features than desktop ones. For instance, the Interesting Finds snippet runs on Google’s algorithms to reveal interesting and relevant pages to users. On mobile, you will always find the website name with the website’s icon compared to a desktop with a URL and the path.


Thanks to the big screens on desktops, they will normally have a variety of features that also appear on mobiles. Some include “People also ask” sections, featured snippets, local three packs, and knowledge panels.

Search Results

Thanks to mobile-first indexing, mobile and desktop search results may be similar but never necessarily the same. Google displays results based on specific user expectations, which are altered depending on the device used. However, the main difference between mobile and desktop search results is the appearance of the test results.


Mobile emphasizes visuals majorly; hence, mobile text results are larger than desktop text results. Images and videos will mostly appear with listings. The mobile text results are displayed as cards that contain a border around the result area, taking up more room. For this reason, the text results will fit two to three listings on the screen at the same time. Mobile text results are generally short, so users have to swipe a couple of times to go through them, which takes longer to go through all the search results. This is why most mobile users prefer choosing the first few results compared to scrolling down.


Desktop screens are larger than mobile phones and tablets, so five text results can easily fit on one screen at once. It is then easier to scroll through the results since you can view more listings at once. It is also easier for a desktop user to reach the end of the search results using one or two scrolls than it is for a mobile user who would need to scroll a couple of times.

These are the main differences between SEO for mobile, tablet, and PC.

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Mary nurses a deep passion for any kind of technical or technological happenings all around the globe. She is currently putting up in Miami. Internet is her forte and writing articles on the net for modern day technological wonders are her only hobby. You can find her at mary@pc-tablet.com.