Google has suggested the latest update would take some time to apply globally without glitches. As we wait for the dust to settle, we can begin looking at the data and see what changes have occurred thus far.
We have been looking at global chatter to see if there are any huge changes that have been witnessed by webmasters.
In my last blog post, we looked at how to identify whether you have been impacted by the latest Google Mobile Friendly Update or not. This could have been either way, for the better or the worse.
In this post, we will focus on the changes that have occurred so far from the implementation.
Has my mobile traffic from Google gone up or down?
Many small business owners who are savvy about their websites would be aware that you can set up and maintain an active Google Webmaster Tools account for your websites. This tool allows webmasters to understand a myriad of different things about their website in relation to Google. For example, how Google crawls their website, how many of their pages are indexed, what pages were last crawled and when and what search queries invoke results for the site.
There’s a feature within Google Webmaster Tools that allows you to see search queries that would have linked to your site in search engine results pages (SERPs). This feature also allows you to see a snapshot of the most popular terms driving not only impressions but actual clicks through to your site from Google’s SERPs.
Further customisation of this feature allows you to see how much traffic you are obtaining from desktop and laptop searches versus mobile searches.
If you go to Search Queries > Filters > Mobile > Apply this will allow you to extract information so that you can see what has occurred since the update on April 21st.
Mobile friendly labels
Google has started putting a grey “Mobile-friendly” label in front of certain web addresses that work well on mobiles and tablets in its search results. They have been experimenting with this label over the last few years but now it is more and more noticeable against results that are on the page.
New mobile URL structures and schema
Despite the latest smartphones getting much larger in size compared to the earlier versions of smartphones in market, there is a rather limited amount of screen real estate available on mobile and smart devices causing an ongoing battle for space and the best use of it.
This has meant that Google has had to revisit its own SERP layout on smartphones and mobile devices to ensure that it gives its users the best experience possible.
As is evident in the image below, you can see that the URL format has changed significantly from the conventional www.domain-name.com/page-directory/page-name.html to something easier to follow like domain > page directory > page name.
As a user, it is much easier to follow the path to the page you’re being taken through to. This is achieved using the implementation of specific code formats within your website called “schema”.
Intent of the search query
Remember, with Google, despite the Mobile Friendly Update going live, there is still a very strong emphasis on the correlation between the searcher’s intent and the results set that is returned.
That means that in some cases, if a site has a very high authority from Google’s perspective and offers the content best matching to the searcher’s request, then even if that site is not entirely mobile friendly, it may still feature as one of the top few results.
So, as a business, as you focus on creating a mobile-friendly experience for your site visitors, you should also understand that the content you produce should also be of a high calibre to ensure that Google rewards your efforts twofold.
Kavit Shah is Senior Manager SEO at Sensis