Computing titan Microsoft has provided a new opportunity to increase the impact of mobile search engine optimization (SEO) with the release of a Bing app for the iPhone.

Experts say that the focus of the Bing app is on providing localized search results and map data, though the app contains a number of features that could lure iPhone users away from Apple’s Safari browser, which uses Google search by default.

Combating Google’s dominance is very much the aim of the new app, according to PC World’s Jared Newman. He writes that many basic iPhone apps are powered by Google: Google Maps provides directions, YouTube provides videos, and Microsoft’s competing Bing search engine requires iPhone users to surf directly to the site in order to use it.

Much of the early buzz is positive. Greg Stirling, writing at Search Engine Land, calls Microsoft’s new app "well-designed, intuitive, pleasing to look at, and most importantly, useful." Analysts say that increasing rates of smartphone adoption in the U.S. will give a commensurate boost to the value of search engine optimization (SEO) with a mobile focus.