Impact of Mobile Search Popularity On SEO

Mobile Trends

Gone are the days when internet used to be the darling of desktop users. Mobile devices now rival the internet usage and hence, it is only natural that search engines have updated their algorithms for Search Engine Result Page (SERP) listings. However, for this article we will be going forward with how the algorithms have been changed by Google and what it means for the users.

Mobile Searches

Just to put things in perspective, Google has revealed that it is receiving more search queries from mobile devices than from desktop/fixed device users. And this does make more sense. Although cell phones and tablets aren’t decades old, nevertheless, they have become an essential part of our lives.

Can you really imagine not using your cell phone just for one day? Couple this with a deep rooted thirst for information and you will get our point. In many cases we, have equated information with knowledge. No one wants to be bested out of a bargain, and we all want to get best value for money on our purchases. So, it is only natural that whenever we are in doubt, we reach out to the vast pool of information available to us via internet. And the most convenient way to do this is via your cell phone.

Why does this matter?

Whether you have just started a website to promote your product or are already an established business, it is important to track the traffic that is coming to your website. Google Analytics is the most common tool used for this, while other paid ones can be found at affordable prices via Groupon. If you filter your traffic according to mobile and desktop, you will find the number of users who reach your content via cell phones and tablets. Depending on the results, it can be really important for you to cater to the needs of these small screen users.

How does it affect your SERP ranking?  

Google’s Mobilegeddon update, launched in April 2015, has introduced some changes to its mobile searching algorithms that may affect your site’s SERP Ranking for a number of reasons. The main effect of this update is that Google now checks your site for mobile-friendliness before displaying it in any of the top pages. This will affect any business to varying degrees, depending on the level of traffic coming from mobile users and the current level of mobile optimization already present in site.

Let us suppose that 40% of your traffic comes from mobile devices. This means that 40 out of 100 potential customers are reaching you through cell phone. If your site was in the front of SERP prior to this update, but is now featuring much lower; then you have lost most of those 40%.

Factors that affect SERP ranking post Mobilegeddon

Now that we have established that mobile SERP rankings matter, let us move towards the points that need your focus if you have been affected. Researches have pointed to two main areas for improving SERP mobile rankings: User Experience and Technical Elements.

User Experience

Generally speaking, it means how convenient it is for a user to access the content. Google algorithm now assesses fonts, links, images, length, and even proof terms to rank your site on its pages. This means that your site should have optimal arrangement of images and content for smaller screens; and that links should be easy to click. The average length of your content for mobile is shorter than that for desktops.

Technical Elements

These include factors such as speed at which your website opens and whether it is made in HTML5 or Flash. The results indicate that HTML5 may be the better platform for your site on mobile phones.

These were just some of the points that need to be kept in mind. We hope that we have introduced you to the basics, although the material covered here is just the tip of the iceberg. Nevertheless, if you have not already optimized your website for Mobile SERP ranking, then it is high time you start thinking about it. Google has a history of taking things along quickly and drastically. Although, this has not been as drastic as Google Panda update, still it has had enough impact to be taken seriously, and something which should be accounted for.


Richard Hale is the Founder of Hale Associations, a company that provides Web Development, SEO and Marketing services globally.