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Consider the iPhone

Mar 6, 2008 / by Peter Ehat

When Building Your Site

A few of us here at SEO.com are big Apple fans. The much anticipated announcement today that the iPhone SDK would be released propels the iPhone into competition with a variety of other handheld devices for business and gaming, and publicizes a few interesting facts about mobile web browsing.

Apparently the iPhone is the most widely used mobile device for browsing web pages, consuming 71% of all web pages accessed by mobile devices. Yes, the iPhone does present the web as you would see it from your desktop or laptop computers, but a few considerations will be forefront in the minds of developers as the iPhone continues to gobble up market share. To name a few:

Use of Flash
Steve Jobs makes it sound like he has no immediate intention of making the iPhone and Flash Player compatible. You may want to look at your site and make sure you don't have essential pieces done in flash--or that you have iPhone detection and replacement of flash content. For example, Google Analytics uses flash to display graphs and other data. It'd be nice to have some sort of replacement instead of a question mark in the spot of the embedded swf.

Accessibility
You should always make your sites as accessible as possible (for SEO purposes and otherwise). I know, the iPhone shows pages like your computer does, so you don't think paying special attention to the iPhone is important. But remember, the screen they're looking through is much smaller. I personally like to see the sites I visit on my iPhone without "special" formatting. However, it may be the case that some charts, graphics or features may need an iPhone friendly interface, either for faster user interaction, or better visibility.

I'm sure a myriad of things will begin to surface as site owners continue to see iPhone agent strings in their stats. Feel free to comment on what other influences you think the iPhone will or will not have on the way web pages are built and delivered.

P.S. The iPhone user agent string is:
Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/1A543 Safari/419.3

Topics: SEO Tips iphone accessibility web browsing

Peter Ehat

Written by Peter Ehat

Peter is a former CTO at SEO.com and is currently the CEO at Accelerator Marketing.

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