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Is your site mobile friendly? Find out how you can prepare for Google's mobile-first indexing

It should come as no surprise Google is working toward indexing web pages primarily based on the mobile output of web pages versus desktop versions in what the search engine giant has called the ‘mobile-first’ index. This is where search engine users are predominantly headed, after all. 2017 marked the year, when, according to Google’s Consumer Barometer Study, mobile internet usage crossed 50% in all 63 countries covered by the report for the first time, albeit the range of usage country to country differed dramatically. Furthermore, from a search engine user perspective, Google have shared there are now more searches on mobile devices than desktop in several countries.

What is the mobile-first index and how is it different?

Historically, Google’s index has…

The rise in voice search has stolen the marketing tech headlines for 2018

If comScore and Mary Meeker's annual internet trends reports are to be believed, 2018 could indeed be the firing of the starting pistol in the race for brands to optimize for voice. Both of these industry sources reported that: "40% of adults now use voice search once per day and Google voice search queries were up 35 fold in 2016 from 2008 levels" But before jumping head-first into exercising a "voice strategy" let's take a brief look at the opportunity and what it means for brands looking to take advantage of this tactic when it comes to content marketing. For those who have not subscribed to the free online digital marketing conference, Digital Olympus, I would seriously recommend subscribing to it. The event brings together expert speakers from the world of digital marketing to present slide decks on specific subject areas, one…

But how slow is too slow?

Providing a high quality and fast user experience has always been a priority for Google - Mobile AMP pages were introduced to do just that (provide a faster user experience). Yesterday they announced that starting in July 2018, page speed will be an official ranking factor for mobile searches. It has always been debated whether page speed has previously affected search rankings for mobile but now Google has made it official. The “Speed Update” as Google are calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. They have stated: "It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content." This shows that relevant…

Chart of the Day: Retail searches will surpass 60% mobile this year

A recent report by Marler Haley shows sale and Black Friday statistics for search trends in the UK, detailing the rise in mobile searches and the implications for retailers – both B2C and B2B. For peak UK retail related searches in November and December 2017, the use of mobile to conduct these searches will surpass 60%, showing how important a mobile-first strategy is for retailers. However, the study also suggests that a mobile-first approach isn’t as vital for B2B retailers, where mobile search trends vary between 10-30% and show a much slower growth.

Mobile-first for B2C

The findings, published by Marler Haley suggest that UK mobile search trends for consumer-related searches ‘sale’ and ‘Black Friday’ will surpass 60% by the end of the…

Google has begun penalizing the rankings of mobile sites with "intrusive interstitials" (Pop-up ads or email capture lightboxes)

Continuing their ongoing push for the "perfect" mobile experience Google announced via the Official Webmasters Blog "two upcoming changes to mobile search results that make finding content easier for users". Although their headline doesn't mention pop-ups and the article labels them 'interstitials', that's the change we wanted to alert you to since most marketers and web users know them as pop-ups. The first change is basically general house-keeping for Google. They're looking to remove the labels they first introduced two years ago as part of the Mobile-friendly update AKA Mobilegeddon, to show which sites were mobile friendly (as shown below). It's likely that you have acted to ensure your site is mobile friendly, but if not, sites that aren't mobile-friendly were penalized on smartphone rankings from April 2015 with the signal increased from May 2016 according…

'Rich Cards' to feature in SERPs for new verticals

Importance: [rating=4] For Marketers working for restaurants and e-learning sites Recommended Source: Google Webmasters Blog Back in May 2016, Google announced the launch of 'Rich Cards' - a new way Google displays content in certain SERPs that is a lot more visual and mobile-friendly than traditional text SERPs. These differ from the already common 'rich snippets' in that, well, they were 'richer'- that is they feature even more visual content. Rich cards were only available to a select few verticals when they originally launched. Just two in fact: Recipes and Movies. But now Google have announced they will be expanding the new content medium to more verticals, these being local restaurants and online courses. Non-specific local restaurant related SERPs, like 'Best Restaurants in Toronto' etc. now will feature rich cards which display the search results…

Google's decision to split it's index will mean big changes in SEO next year

Google has unsettled the SEO community throughout 2016 by releasing back-to-back updates to its SERPs and search algorithms. The latest, and hopefully the last change for the year, was announced by Google's Gary Illyes at PubCon last month. Google is going to launch a separate mobile search index, which will eventually become its primary index. The index will be effective "within months," said Illyes. Google officially confirmed this announcement just days go, with a post on their webmaster central blog confirming their decision to make their index 'mobile first'. What was less clear was whether they'd be running two index's seperatly, or going straight to a single 'mobile first index'. Not quite a bombshell, I'd say, considering that Google has been experimenting with a mobile index since last year. Google's mobile-first strategy that it has aggressively…

We asked top SEO experts about how they see the implications of Google's announcement of a separate mobile index

Gary Illyes, a Google webmaster trends analyst, announced this month in a keynote on Google's search plans at Pubcon, Las Vegas that rather than its current single index for all sites, Google will run two indexes in parallel. One will be for informing mobile search results, the other desktop, but the mobile one will be the primary database and will be updated more regularly. It's a big, bold move from Google, and there's no doubting it will have a huge affect on SEO, with the possibility of a big divergence between mobile and desktop search results. For marketers the implications will be less instant, as they'll take longer to filter through. But that is no reason for complacency. A change in rankings one day is a change in sales the next, and…

What we learned from implementing AMPs

This week's big development here at Smart Insights is the implementation of Accelerated Mobile Pages for our blog. If you are reading this on the standard HTML version (looks the same as normal) visit this post as an AMP to see what we have done. Over the last year, we have published updates about how Google is implementing and utilising AMPs to improve everybody's mobile web experience.

A timeline of AMP

Let me recap the main developments of AMP: December 2015 Google announced that it was seeing 16,000 new Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) every single day. This was an impressive rate of adoption and showed the extent to which publisher wanted to attract audiences of mobile devices. February 2016 Then in February we saw Google has started rolling out Accelerated mobile pages…

New trends in the Mobile Internet space are changing the game quickly

Mobile devices and their use in our daily lives are changing the game for developers and marketers alike, and it is happening a lot quicker than we think. The mobile space has been gaining serious interest as it has grown in popularity over the years. We are already seeing Internet giants like Facebook, Google, and Apple investing heavily in the mobile market. They are competing to be the new leaders in the online mobile niche. There is plenty of opportunity for everyone here. As more and more people are becoming more accustomed to using their mobile device to access the Internet throughout their daily lives, it is opening up new doors for companies to spread into and develop new technologies that can be used by them. It is clear that the mobile space is on the verge of exploding…

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