How Google Updates Will Impact Online Businesses in 2017?
All throughout 2016, Google has been releasing a flurry of updates to its Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and search algorithms while online businesses scurry to adapt. In the wake of all these changes, the online world has become remarkably Darwinist with only those who can acclimate, survive. Know how Google is gearing itself for more changes in 2017 and get the lowdown on how you can keep up!
- Lengthier Descriptions and Titles
If you’ve been in the SEO loop, you might have heard that in May, Google had increased the allowed character limit of page titles. From 60-70 characters, the displayable character limit is now 78 for mobile Search Engine Results Pages. Along with the lengthened title also came longer meta descriptions, which is now extended to three lines from the typical two.
- Think Twice About Pop-Ups
If we hate them, Google hates them too. In an announcement, Google gave negative points to pop-ups for ranking on mobile websites. If your website is a lead magnet website with accompanying boxes, you might see your traffic take a nosedive because of this change.
- Say Bye-Bye to Right Column Ads
In February of 2016, Google has completely stripped away right column ads in its SERPs, which gives search results a wider space. With this gone, focus on other strategies in trying to get your message across!
- The Glorious AMP Update
Another popular update launched on February 2016, the AMP update (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is sure to put a lot of influence in your Google SEO strategies this 2017. AMP is a technology from Google that massively speeds up the loading time for mobile pages (0.7 seconds). All AMP-coded pages will have an AMP icon, and although AMP is not considered as a ranking signal, AMP mobile websites are more likely to be clicked. This increase paged speed will have a great influence on your SEO this 2017!
- The Rise of the Mobile Search
With over 56% of online traffic coming from mobile devices, it is no surprise that Google is putting more priority on mobile search. Google has already announced the existence of a dedicated index for mobile SERPs, but this time, they’re not just devoting different search results for mobile – they are making it the primary index. What this means is more updates and more challenges to keep up!
With desktop computers relegated to being secondary touch points, Google wants mobile users to find what they want faster and as convenient as possible. The mobile-only index may have sprung from the understanding that users behave very differently when conducting searches on mobile. Voice queries have risen thirty-five times ever since 2008, and now make up 20% of total Google searches, while users want distance info and directions when conducting local searches.
The 2017 Challenge
For online businesses, a mobile-only search brings into light a dilemma. When it comes to titling your pages, should you stick with the 68-70 characters that display on both mobile or desktop, or should you prioritize mobile and shift to the new 78-character mobile titles? Small businesses may find it in their advantage to prioritize based on the amount of traffic they get from desktop versus mobile.
This 2017, you may also consider creating a dedicated mobile site to make the most of the AMP update. The AMP update is an open source technology that all SEOs and developers may use to massively improve their page speeds, and in effect, their SEO ranking!
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