Mobile sites

Google will add more mobile priority to its update menagerie

Pretty sounding search algorithm updates (Hummingbird, Panda, Penguin…) have plunged many digital publishers into peril as their content plummets out of search engine results pages in consequence.

The decline in visitors impacts the performance of ads, which hits revenue. Under pressure from the publisher and ad sales team, the media title’s SEO and editorial teams try to reverse engineer Google’s update and work out new tactics that will improve their search engine performance.

In the main, quality publishers producing compelling shareable editorial need not worry too much about Google algorithm updates. Google’s focus has generally been to prioritise quality content.

However, a key objective of the Hummingbird update is to accommodate the fact that more searches are being conducted, and more content is being consumed, on smartphones.

As people are beginning to use their smartphone’s voice recognition functions to actually talk to Google search apps, Google has started to respond to search terms given in natural speech, a key part of the Hummingbird update.

‘Big whoop’, right? No. Massive whoop, especially for the 68% of the UK’s 175 top publishers do not have a digital site that displays effectively for mobile devices.

85% of consumers favour apps over mobile websites

In the early days of m-commerce it was often asked whether brands should opt for a mobile app or a mobile website.

I think most marketers now accept that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and the decision should be made based on the business needs and aims of individual companies.

However a new report from Compuware suggests that consumer preference is strongly in favour of apps (85%) ahead of mobile sites.

The most common reason for this is that apps are seen to be more convenient (55%), faster (48%) and easier to browse (40%).