Well, Google was pretty busy last year. The seemingly small tweaks and updates it’s made to its algorithms will have had a big impact on your brand’s search results and your rankings – whether you’ve noticed or not.
Let’s have a gander at some of the changes Google has made, which in turn has influenced how everyone interacts with their products.
See ya later Right-Hand Ads
In one of several sweeping changes that are affecting desktop advertising; Google decided to get rid of right-hand ads once and for all. Instead Google added another organic search result slot. Basically this created parity for mobile and desktop layout and showed that Google is prioritising mobile search…and rightly so. Increased mobile advertising spending is a familiar story for brands everywhere.
You can see some of the impact here.
Hey Accelerated Mobile Pages
Accelerated mobile pages sound like they mean business and Google’s effort with search-to-click has been impressive. There are roughly around 700m AMPs (probably a couple more now!) out there, mainly on retail or media providers, as they’ve seen the amount of people using their sites on their mobile rapidly increase. Therefore it makes sense to work on decreasing loading times and working on mobile optimised, tailored content for users.
Google’s Separate Mobile Index
A separate mobile index is another big move that shows how much Google is vibing on mobile search results at the moment and differentiating them from desktop search results. The separate mobile index is also being made Google’s primary index, which indicates from their research and stats that more searches are being made from mobile devices. So, this is another development that’ll make it even faster to search from a mobile.
It’s all still a bit shaky about what this means for desktop search in the future and whether it’ll have as much resource pumped into it to keep it relevant. But it’s another clear demonstration that Google is becoming more mobile-first.
What will 2017 bring?
We’re seeing advertising spend increasing on mobile and mobile search being prioritised over desktop, so what else is Google looking to do to complement the ascent of mobile in 2017?
Google has plans to release an extension where potential customers can message brands directly through the search results page. It takes on the speed and instant nature that chatbots and virtual assistants provide and allow people to interact with brands quickly.
If you ask consumers, there’s no doubt that some would tell you they don’t click on ads in search results at all…because they’re ads. If there’s an incentive in place that means consumers can instantly get in touch with brands by clicking on an ad then this could make them even more effective tools for growth.
It could be problematic for brands to have to manage yet another communication channel, but if they combine it with a chatbot-type infrastructure then it could succeed.
Whatever Google decides to do, it’s inevitable that’ll it’ll be doing more and more for mobile and creating updates that reflect the changes in the way that customers are searching and accessing products. And that means that your brand needs to keep up with changes and respond accordingly.