Google recently made changes to its search tools to prioritize mobile searches over web searches. Why has Google done this and what does this mean for businesses and users? Get the answers by reading on.
Google search works by using ‘bots.’ These bots are responsible for trawling through the web and sorting and categorizing websites based on the content, location, and other factors associated with the site to give users the most relevant search results. Google has long used the same algorithms and search tools for all search platforms.
However, the newest Google search updates will move in a new direction. A mobile-only search index — available only to users accessing Google search from mobile devices — will be the primary search index. Essentially, this means that mobile users and web users will get different search results even if they input the same search terms. Mobile users will have better filtered, more updated, and more relevant search results than desktop users.
The primary reason for this change is simple. Google has found that the majority of searches are now performed on mobile devices. The company is merely catering to the bigger user base by making their user experience on smartphones and tablets as responsive as possible.
Another thing that led to the mobile-first priority is the context of people’s searches. People on mobile devices often look for quick information about business hours, addresses, or the weather, or for immediate answers to whatever questions they might have. Google wants to ensure that these users get what they need when they need it.
What does this mobile-first search tool mean for your business? A lot. With this new algorithm, Google will prioritize websites that have responsive designs, and will put those sites on top of the search results page. If your business’s website isn’t responsive — if it doesn’t change depending on the size of the screen — Google will assume that it has low relevance to mobile users. Your site might land on page 82 of search results, leaving you with no clicks and no potential customers.
But it’s not enough that your business’s site is responsive. Google also takes into consideration a website’s ease of use when users interact with it. As such, you must make certain processes like user login verification and online payment easier and more efficient via mobile devices.
Site speed is another consideration in mobile-first index searches. Your website must load quickly or it will turn away users. And as more users click away from your site, your rank in the search results also goes down.
Google has made changes to its search index algorithm — but can your business keep up?