How Google is Changing Mobile Search

Mobile search finally broke the 50% mark—more than half of all Internet searches are done on mobile devices! In order to remain the top search engine on any device, Google knows it needs to enhance the user experience on smaller portals, so it has been quietly rearranging mobile search display. To make sure your business is still visible to your mobile-searching customers, you need to keep up with SEO and apply those strategies to your Google property listings.

Google’s Turf at the Top of Mobile SERPs

Recently, Google moved paid ads from the right sidebar back to the top of the results page on desktops. The layout matches search displays on mobile devices—paid ads take up prime real estate. If you want to be the first thing prospective customers see, you may consider investing in paid ads. However, like with desktop search, the majority of mobile users are still scrolling past them to get to “the good stuff”—organic search results.

Google My Business (GMB) or Knowledge Graph Cards

The big change with Google’s mobile search displays is what comes after paid ads—its newest properties: Google My Business (GMB), three directory listings for business-related searches and Knowledge Graph (KG), topic-specific snippets from Google-trusted sources (like Wikipedia) for information-related searches.

The listing links navigate to a GMB or KG “card,” a Google property that contains the link to your actual website. To date, Google’s GMB and KG selections are algorithm-based, not paid. That means that applying tried-and-true SEO strategies to your Google Places/GMB profiles boosts ranking potential.

So far, the changes Google is making in mobile search are most noticeable for searches tied to a specific (US) location, for instance:

  • Restaurants in Albuquerque
  • Movies in Santa Fe
  • Hotels in San Francisco
  • Chicago [City]

Local tradesmen and service providers are likely to be impacted, and there are rumors that Google may be offering a paid option to get your geo-specific business in the “Home Services” Knowledge Graph results.

How to Increase Your Mobile Search Visibility

Mobile search visibility is becoming multidimensional because now in addition to SEO to rank in the organic listings, you also need to make sure you have a presence on Google properties. That means after you’ve optimized your website for keywords “and all that jazz,” you need to:

  1. Make sure your Google My Business account is updated.
  2. Make sure your Google Places registration is accurate.
  3. If there are paid opportunities with Google, consider adding those to your global marketing scheme and budget.

We take care of making sure our clients have a presence on Google properties like Places and GMB. If you want more visibility on mobile SERPs, contact us to discuss Google-specific online marketing strategies.