Along with several changes to its search algorithm, Google has also been releasing more and more smartphone-orientated products over the past few years for one main reason – the increasing influence of mobile users online.
It is no secret that the power and popularity of desktop has continued to dwindle, but at the Code/Mobile conference in October, a senior member of Google’s staff revealed the sheer scale of mobile users’ search footprint.
Amit Singhal, senior vice president of Google Search, said that more than half of the 100 billion searches conducted on Google each month come from mobile devices.
This means that brands and businesses can ill afford to ignore this extensive audience. Also, mobile users may well dictate the way marketers put together their SEO and PPC campaigns, as this is where the most amount of traffic will be coming from.
Embracing the different types of search
If Singhal’s statement on mobile searches wasn’t impressive enough, this doesn’t even include devices with screens that exceed 6 inches in size, such as tablets. Therefore, when counting mobile searches, Google is only including those from smartphones.
But for Singhal, this enables Google to focus on enhancing the experience of search regardless of what device you happen to be using. “Search as we think about it is fundamentally how you will interact with computing,” he said. “Computing may live in a 4-to-6-inch device, it may live in a desktop, it may live on a 1-inch round device.”
This is backed up by the fact that Google has now indexed over 100 billion links within apps, which was yet another important piece of information to come from the Code/Mobile Conference. Google firmly believes that search is not just limited to finding web pages, but more about helping people interact with content located somewhere else on their device.
Reacting to Google’s mobile search activity
Despite the fact Google continues to serve the wants and needs of all users, it clearly recognises the importance of mobile. Not long ago, Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages, offering media companies an easy way to strip down content to make it leaner, faster, and more appealing to audiences with short attention spans.
While features and offerings like this might not interest all businesses looking to target mobile users, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller recently said:
“More than half of Google’s searches are now coming from mobile. If you haven’t made your site (or your client’s sites) mobile-friendly, you’re ignoring a lot of potential users. “
Therefore, this should now be considered top priority if you haven’t already got a mobile-friendly site. Thankfully, Google has a range of tools and resources that will not only help you meet the requirements of today’s mobile users, but also adhere to its strict algorithm guidelines.
Google’s mobile-friendly test page should be your first port-of-call, but additional information on common mistakes such as unplayable content, faulty redirects, app download interstitials and irrelevant cross-links will also need to be mulled over carefully.