Mobile V Desktop search – round 2?

Over the past year or so we have been reporting on the changing behaviour of users when they search using Google. Initially desktop search was the most popular, but as we have seen in recent times from our previous articles we can see that actually mobile search has overtaken desktop.

Today this continues to be the case, and as such Google has decided that it should take another step forward to listen to searchers and bring them what they want, by giving an even more enhanced mobile search platform. In this article we explore the latest developments.

Google has now decided that it will totally separate its platforms of search results – one for desktop and one for mobile. Since mobile search has become so popular now, this will be updated far more frequently than the desktop version. The change will not take place straight away but is likely to happen in the next few months.

What is the result of doing this?

There are of course many. Perhaps one of the most noticeable, obvious or beneficial reasons are that Google’s crawler system can look at mobile web pages totally separately, meaning it is far more likely to be indexed faster and appropriately. This will then make further mobile updates easier in the future as the separation will have already occurred.

The wider meaning

Although this is a big anncounment and a piece of news in its own right, the secondary ramifications from this update are probably the most important and will have bigger impact in the longer term. This update will inevitably force website owners to think about their desktop and mobile websites and how they will fit into this new scheme. Most website owners should now already have a site which is mobile friendly and fully optimised for that medium. This now however is only seen as the very basic requirement and more is needed from website owners to continue to keep the pace. For example the speed of the mobile pages is becoming an increasingly important factor and your search positions could be hampered if this is not addressed on mobile pages now (whereas traditionally, this only really applied to desktop searching.)

Our recommendation is to use the recently launched accelerated mobile pages for when you are producing and issuing new content. Regular site speed checks of your mobile site is also needed to ensure you can monitor how fast your pages are loading and being able to take action should this be necessary.

There is now doubt that mobile search is the way forward. Once again this announcement gives webmasters a further chance to get on board with this or possibly get left behind!

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