Looking Ahead to SEO Updates in 2017
At least two updates in 2017 are already certain, both of them relevant to mobile search. One, Google’s penalty for mobile sites with annoying interstitials, is already live, the other is Google’s move to a mobile-first search index, a major shift which reflects the fact that the majority of Google search queries are now coming from mobile devices.
While there is no fixed date for this change, Google confirmed in October that the change would take place within the next few months, which means that Google’s primary index could switch to mobile any day now, and brands would do well to prepare themselves. In an article in Search Engine Watch they asked Andy Favell, Search Engine Watch’s resident mobile specialist, what advice he would give to brands who want to be prepared.
“Google has done an excellent job of focusing companies’ minds on the importance of having a mobile-friendly website. The stick approach – the fear of harming the search ranking – has worked wonders for driving adoption of mobile or mobile-friendly sites.
“However, companies should have been focusing on the carrot – building websites that would appeal to some of the billions of mobile web users out there. The beauty of mobile first is that a mobile-friendly site is often a much better desktop site. That is still true today.
“Rather than worrying about trying to make Google happy, brands should concentrate on the mobile users, consider who they are, their context, and what they want, and provide that the best possible way – i.e. intuitive, fast-loading, good UX and usability. Businesses that do this will get more traffic, more happy users and more conversions.
“That’s not just good for business, it’s good for your search ranking also. Because Google wants what’s best for the search user.”
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