Mobile-Friendliness, Search & What It Means For You
Tomorrow, April 21, Google is implementing two major changes to the algorithms that enable the searches we make.
First: Google will be "expanding" their use of "mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal."
This move comes as no surprise. The use of mobile devices for browsing the web, and conducting instant local searches, whenever the inclination to do so strikes, has been on the rise for quite some time. In fact, users are consulting their mobile devices even in the presence of a traditional device like a desktop PC or laptop.
The frequent use of mobile search, especially for "local searching," has been shaking up how businesses invest in ads; program their websites; and design content. Google even has a term for when consumers have a moment of search inspiration: the micro-moment.
The micro-moment is powerful. According to a study by Google and IPSOS MediaCT, 50% of consumers who perform mobile local searches for products visit the corresponding physical store on the same day (compared to 34% of desktop users). 18% of those local searches lead to conversion on the same day (compared to 7% of non-local searches).
For those reasons and others, improving mobile searches by increasing the ranking of mobile-friendly websites only make sense as our use of mobile devices becomes dominant. According to the Google Webmaster Central Blog:
"This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices."
Second: Google will now be employing "App Indexing" to present more useful app content in search results.
This only seems natural as apps direct much of a consumer's mobile experience. It seems for the moment that App Indexing is a feature that developers will need to enable. To learn more about how to enter your app into Google's index, check out what is happening at the App-Indexing Code Lab.
These are exciting changes for those who have optimized their websites for the mobile experience. For those who haven't, this should be a clear call to action. We'll be discussing this more on the blog as the week unfolds. Stay tuned!