A Look at How Mobile Search Will Soon Influence Google Rankings
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that more people are searching the web via their mobile devices. If you take a look around, people are glued to their phones, either nose-deep in the screen, or gently cradling their phones while attempting to have meaningful face-to-face conversations with people in the present setting.
Since mobile devices are with users almost 100 percent of the time, it’s much easier to search via mobile than it is to walk upstairs or down the hall to use a desktop computer. But this growing popularity of mobile search has some serious implications for websites, especially those who have yet to make the move to mobile.
Google strives to put user experience first, so when it comes to search, mobile search engine optimization (SEO) will be THE way to go for any website to make it in the new mobile world. If this impending change has you squirming because you have no idea what mobile SEO is or how to get there, then read on and get some help from your local Ottawa SEO experts.
According to a recent report, the majority of search traffic (57 percent) is coming from mobile devices—such as smartphones and tablets. That is more than half of users opting to use their phones or tablets to search online instead their desktop or laptop computer.
Also, the majority of keywords (79 percent) rank differently on mobile than on desktop—47 percent of the 79 percent being in the ranking positions 1 – 20. This means that many websites are not search-engine optimized for both, and probably have better content on their desktop versions. This rise in mobile search means you need to get on board with fast, mobile-friendly sites that are also rich in content if you want to improve your brand visibility online.
To have a better online presence, make sure your visibility is high on both mobile and desktop search. Optimize your mobile and desktop versions depending on whether your site has more mobile or desktop users. This can be achieved through precise traffic analysis and making adjustments to your digital marketing strategy. The last thing you want is to prevent the 55 percent of search users from seeing your site.
Google’s Mobile-First Index
In response to this growing mobile search trend, Google is working on a mobile-first index to enhance the mobile user experience. While still in the testing phase, this new index will most likely be launched in the near future—possibly in early 2018.
Currently, Google indexes (ranks) websites based on the desktop experience and the quality of content. If you have a mobile version of your site, it does not affect your website ranking; however, this will soon change as Google will start ranking your website based on your mobile version—looking instead at the mobile experience and content.
When You Should Be Concerned
If your mobile site is identical to your desktop version through the use of responsive design, then this switch to mobile-first indexing won’t affect your rankings. But if your desktop version is rich in content and your mobile site is lacking content—or you don’t have a mobile version of your site— this will certainly have a negative effect on your ranking once Google launches mobile-first indexing.
So, if you haven’t gone mobile yet, get on it! Start by working on a responsive design for your mobile site to prepare you for the upcoming changes. At the very least, add your primary content to your mobile site if you’re not making the switch to responsive design just yet. If the quality content is there, your rankings should be good. You can also learn more about the guidelines for these upcoming changes by reading Google’s post on the topic. And to further improve your mobile SEO so your mobile site impresses Google and improves your ranking, get some help from Ottawa SEO experts.