According to research, nearly 60 percent of search queries globally now come from mobile devices. As mobile usage grows and user’s search preferences evolve, Google’s algorithm and technology continue to adapt. Their latest attempt at total search (*cough* world) domination? A new, separate mobile index. If your business has yet to prioritize a mobile website in your digital marketing strategy, it’s time to reconsider.
The evolution of Google mobile index & search.
Last year, Google announced that mobile search queries had officially overtaken desktop search queries. In response, the company released a new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm (AKA mobile-egeddon) to boost mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results. Now, the company is gearing up to make another big change to the way people search for information online.
Gary Illyes, Google’s webmaster trend analyst, recently announced that the company will be releasing two separate search indexes – one for desktop, one for mobile – and that the new index for mobile devices will become the “primary” index for search. While there’s still speculation about the potential implications of this major change, there are a few key concepts that we as marketers are anticipating.
First, the mobile index will become the primary Google index. By prioritizing their mobile search index, Google will be updating the mobile index more frequently, serving up the freshest, most up-to-date content and results on the web. Second, by separating the indexes, Google will be able to use its ranking algorithm differently across platforms to determine mobile rankings. This will ultimately a) improve mobile user experience (the priority going towards content already optimized for mobile devices) and b) prevent content that is not optimized for mobile from showing up on mobile Google search results.
What does this Google mobile update mean for business owners?
It means that if you were waiting for a sign to prioritize your mobile website, this is it. If your customers are searching for your product or service via their mobile devices (according to research – they probably are), it’s time to prioritize the functionality of your mobile website design.
A few years ago, having a “mobile-friendly” digital presence was a game changer. Our prediction? In a few years, the term “mobile-friendly” will be basically obsolete. Search is trending towards mobile and it shows no sign of slowing down. “Within months” desktop and mobile users will see different search results. It’s crucial for the health of your SEO efforts to be prepared.
Not yet convinced to prioritize mobile website design? We’re not done yet…
Bonus Round: 10 more reasons to prioritize your business’ mobile website
In the current digital ecosystem, your mobile marketing strategy should not be an afterthought, it shouldn’t be the icing on your digital cake. In a few short months, a well-designed and fully optimized mobile website will be 100% critical for the health of your business. See if your website is prepared by using this free test.
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