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Mobile SEO: Trends and Technology for the Year Ahead

Written by: Chad Pataueg
January 23, 2017 • 6-minute read


Mobile SEO Trends and Technology for the Year Ahead.png

The arena of mobile search continues to intensify: according to SimilarWeb’s “State of Mobile Web US 2015” report, leading websites got around 56% of their traffic in the last quarter of 2015 from mobile devices. Coupled with changes in search algorithms and developments in software from industry shapers like Apple and Google, this continued shift in activity points toward increasing importance of mobile search, especially for businesses.

Mobile Friendliness as a Ranking Factor

Last April 2015, Google search expanded its mobile-friendly algorithm. This affected mobile searches worldwide but there was a slight but significant impact on some mobile-friendly websites, while some mobile unfriendly sites dropped ranks on Google’s results page. Desktop searches, however, remained largely unaffected.

Other updates released were Google’s accelerated mobile pages (AMP), which launched in February, and mobile-first indexing, which Google has been working on for some time now.

AMP are an open source initiative of Google launched in October 2015, to work towards a higher-performing of mobile web. It aims to make web pages load instantly, even with rich content or ads. Though AMP is not a mobile ranking factor, its objective is to improve the functions of mobile websites with stripped-down versions of web pages. Google AMP lets publishers to focus on great content while depending on other components like image carousels and social plug-ins for high performance and great user experience.

Another recent update is mobile-first indexing. Google has been adjusting their algorithms to primarily use mobile versions of website content to rank pages, understand structured data, and show snippets from those pages on their SERPs. They have given a few recommendations on how to respond to mobile-first indexing:

  • Stay on your responsive site or dynamic serving site on desktop and mobile version;
  • If the two versions of your website’s primary content are different, you should make your structured data uniform, make your mobile website crawlable, and maintain canonical links unchanged;
  • Verify your desktop and mobile website versions against Google Search Console;
  • Launch new mobile sites only when they’re ready, so as to avoid any unwanted effects on your desktop sites that may arise from faulty mobile ones.

Effects of Mobile-Friendliness on Business

Most users today use their mobile devices to search for or to buy products. It is essential for businesses to have their website to be mobile-friendly. According to Google Research, nearly 75% of consumers prefer mobile-friendly sites and 67% of consumers were more likely buy products or avail of services on them.

Mobile-friendly websites should be considered essential for business. With the constant rise of mobile users, customers are more dependent on their smartphones compared to desktop and laptop for online activities, such as shopping. Websites with e-commerce features that are not mobile-friendly may fall behind, given how Google’s algorithm weighs sites based on mobile compatibility, as well as the simple preferences of customers.

What Comes Next

Search Engine Journal’s Danny Goodwin asked 44 SEO experts what they believed the big trends in 2017 would be and some of them talked about how mobile affects SEO next year and here as follows:

  • 2017 will be a huge year for mobile-first search and websites should prepare for this.
  • E-commerce website should keep an eye on AMP and the way it will be highlighted in SERPs
  • Mobile is mandatory for businesses websites. Brands would have a keen eye on mobile-friendliness
  • Google will deal and put a huge emphasis on mobile which make SEOs to put mobile-friendliness to their development process.
  • Mobile optimization will be a demand and must-have to SEO.

Mobile friendliness now plays a huge part in SEO, after Google rolled out the mobile-first index and encouraging business and website owners to use AMP, Google is making you ready for the future updates and help them to give the best for the users.

At the same time, an almost hidden battle is being fought for the software that controls mobile searches. Google and Apple have been making massive investments in efforts to establish their dominance in the software people use to make queries on smartphones and tablets. These companies are betting in a big way on continuing changes in mobile usage and in user expectations for mobile devices—and that means you should do so, too; adopt a mobile-first mentality.

As some search experts anticipate that mobile will be a great factor as ranking signal in 2017, you should be ready to create or optimize your mobile website and include it in your SEO process.

Mobile SEO is now an essential part of the online marketing process to improve website ranking and user experience. As mobile usage continues to rise, businesses will need to adopt different ways to improve their website to gain traffic and sales through mobile.

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Chad Pataueg
Chad Pataueg
is a Search Engine Marketing Specialist at StraightArrow Corporation. He helps businesses to increase their traffic and visibility online through SEO and PPC. He spends his spare time playing online games and reading stuff online about internet marketing.



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