We all know that web usage in recent years has trended toward mobile devices, Mobile content is found mostly by either an app or Google Search. Google, the self-proclaimed librarian of the web, has sought to improve the mobile search experience.

Google has recently announced a change in  its algorithm related strictly to mobile searches.

By emphasizing the mobile-friendliness of sites and indexing mobile apps Google’  intends to put the most relevant content in front of mobile searchers. And not just the most relevant, but also content formatted to display well on mobile devices.

The good news for developers is that you can  give your users the choice of viewing your content either on the website or from your Android app, both straight from Google’s search results.

Developers will now have the option to get their app content indexed, and that content to be opened within the app on Android devices. This will help create a seamless transition between websites and apps.

In Nov 2013, Google’s robots began indexing the content within Android apps. The idea is that user experience is enriched by having the option to view that content within the app (if installed), and not just on a usual mobile webpage.

The significance of increased mobile use is evidenced by the fact that Google announced the latest algorithm change in advance. Usually we are left to do damage control after Google has made changes.

Google’s objective with this new update, is to improve the mobile search experience

This goal will be realized by:

1. Ensuring that More mobile-friendly websites appear in search results

2. Providing more relevant app content in search results.

 

1. Ensuring that more mobile-friendly websites appear in search results

Google’s intent is (a) to give mobile searchers the most relevant content available

and (b) provide this content in a format well suited for mobile devices.

What this means is to get your content in front of mobile searchers, you must either have a separate mobile site or have a site which utilizes responsive design.

Starting April 21, your mobile site’s “mobile friendliness” will help determine placement within Google searches.

2. Providing more relevant app content in search results.

This will be accomplished by app developers incorporating  deep linking in their apps. This is the means by which Google robots can crawl apps, find the search-relevant content and provide it in search results. Google has been gracious enough to gives us the 5-step process for getting apps indexed here: App Indexing for Google Search

 

The web is a rapidly and constantly changing entity. The mobile evolution prevents many opportunities as well as challenges. The impact on websites as well as how websites respond to these changes will vary. The greatest impact will be on those who rely most heavily on Google search.

How does this affect you and how will you respond? We would love to hear from you. Give us your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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