Two Quarters In: What will Google Do Next with Local and Mobile?

Posted by Amber Kazalbash on Jul 29, 2015 11:50:25 AM

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Google Mobile Update, Google Mobilegeddon, Mobile Marketing, Local Mobile Marketing, Google Ranking, Google My Business

In the ever-changing world of digital marketing, we constantly hear trendy terms that quickly come and go. But one concept that will never become a cliche in tech is Mobile. It is a foundational element to marketing today and, especially in search, has surpassed traditional desktop methods. The importance of Mobile in affecting user behavior is undeniable. It’s a transactional utility channel that makes users pull the trigger on their intent to convert and buy in-store. Mobile can’t become a cliche because engines like Google are transforming it to better serve the connected customer of today.

Setting the Stage in Q1 and Q2

It has been a breakthrough year in mobile marketing to say the least. In the past 6 months, Google has helped boost mobile even further in three stages.

First, Google pushed out a mobile-friendly test for marketers to start getting their properties in line for full mobile optimization.  Shortly thereafter, Google announced for the first time that an algorithm change was underway, setting fire among SMB marketers and large-scale marketers alike. By mid-April, the “Mobilegeddon” algorithm was rolled out and started slowly changing the way search engine results pages were ranking based on.

After Mobilegeddon, Google started moving away from SERP optimization and into mobile ad optimization. The traditional search funnel is no longer because mobile users have instantaneous needs. Google is understanding user behavior and intent based on website content instead of keywords by integrating mobile carousels, swipes and click throughs to convert users in the moment.

By May, a formal announcement was made by Google,

“More Google Searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries, including the US and Japan.”

This clarification has shed light on to the context of Google’s efforts, and now we’re seeing them take it a step further with yesterday’s newest update.

 

What’s Next For Local in Q3 & Q4

Yesterday, Google started kicking into full gear for Q3 and Q4 with a small, but user-friendly mobile search update. Mike Blumenthal noted that now, the busiest times of the week for business everywhere will be visible on mobile browsers. As we mentioned, users have needs that need to be satisfied quickly and efficiently by brands, and this will be a great way to do so. Capitalizing on this new feature within mobile search is a competitive advantage to say the least. In terms of providing value to users (something that Google esteems highly), kind of powerful information will be extracted from consented local user behavior.

Moving forward, we’ll probably see unique features like this serve as dynamic ranking opportunities. At different points of the day day, your locations could potentially rank better or worse, depending on the user’s perception of your hours of business. Meaning that if a search occurs during a time when business hours are less crowded, they may rank higher to help consumers avoid long lines and crowded restaurants. Updates like these might be more hurtful for SMBs because unlike larger enterprise brands they have less locations for consumers to choose from if one location is crowded.

 

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Topics: Local SEO