Even though it was announced well ahead of time, Google’s decision to start prioritizing mobile compatibility within its search results – dubbed “Mobilegeddon” within the web design and digital marketing community – has sent huge waves throughout the Internet. In a matter of weeks, thousands and thousands of companies that had put off responsive web upgrades and mobile functionality suddenly decided it was the perfect time to catch up with their competitors.
We’ll undoubtedly still be seeing the effects of those changes for months to come, but what will happen after that? What will the next Mobilegeddon look like?
In the short term, it seems a safe bet that even more emphasis will be placed on mobile-friendly websites. After all, more than half of all web traffic currently comes from smartphones and tablets, and it’s expected that mobile web users will constitute more than three-quarters of all Internet visits by 2017.
Putting the popularity of mobile web usage aside, however, there are a few more trends that might pick up steam and reach a tipping point in the near future:
Google + Verified Businesses Getting Higher Search Rankings
We are already seen this happening in some ways, but expect that the influence of Google + is probably going to grow in the future. For one thing, a business that’s listed on Google + has information that’s easy for the search engine’s spiders to crawl and understand. So, it could be that content showing up on those pages will be indexed faster and displayed more prominently within search listings.
Additionally, companies with a strong Google + following are more likely to be legitimate and popular, so it gives Google an easy way to determine quality, location, and relevance all at the same time. The bottom line? Make sure your Google + profile is complete and growing.
Businesses With Customer Reviews Getting More Attention
This is somewhat related to the last possibility, but in a different way. One of the problems with digital marketing (and especially search engine optimization) is that companies are always looking for a way to “game the system.” That’s possible when it comes down to keywords and links, but it’s harder to fake with positive reviews.
Certainly, we’ve seen businesses go to extraordinary lengths to gather feedback on social media sites and local review sites like Yelp. But, that’s hard to accomplish on a large scale, so expect online reviews to become a kind of independent badge of quality going forward.
A Clear Preference for Fresh Content Amongst Users and Search Engines
As with the first two points, having recently-created content already gives businesses an advantage, but that advantage may grow significantly in the near future. Since the web is growing so fast, with hundreds of millions of pages being added every day, it only makes sense that both search engines and actual customers will start to look for newer results when they can.
We may even reach a point where lots of articles and ideas will quickly become “out of date,” at least from a search engine optimization perspective, simply because they’ll be drowned out by newer and more relevant thoughts.
Only a few people on the planet could ever hope to accurately predict what the next Mobilegeddon might look like, and how it will affect websites around the world. But, by keeping an eye on these three trends, you could future-proof your website and help your business to grow in the present all at the same time.
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