The news everyone was talking about this week is, in the coming weeks, Google will be splitting its search index into a mobile version and a desktop version. We’ll dig more into that and explain what it means for searchers and site owners.
Google will also be enhancing its search results with a new “Fact check” label, which will appear next to articles that cite their sources. Just in time for the holiday season, Google is introducing an extension for search ads which will allow searchers to send text messages directly to businesses.
Full details about each of these headlines are included in this week’s SEO and internet marketing news update.
A New, Faster, Mobile Search Index
Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed at the Pubcon convention in Las Vegas that the company is working on a separate mobile index, which will become its primary index. That means mobile search results will be updated more rapidly and content will become indexed faster.
Desktop search results will have a different index altogether, and it will not be as updated as quickly as the mobile index. Google’s new priority is mobile search because the company’s own data shows desktop search is being eclipsed by mobile search, with no sign of slowing down.
For SEOs and site owners, Google will be crawling the desktop versions and mobile versions of sites separately and indexing them accordingly. So if you have been focusing more on optimizing your site for desktop search, it’s time to take a hard look at how you’re ranking in mobile search.
No definitive time was given as to when this split will officially happen, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated when the change rolls out. For an honest assessment of how well your site is optimized for mobile search versus desktop search, please contact us for a site audit.
Google AdWords Introduces Click-to-Text Ads
Something else to look forward to in the coming weeks is a new extension for Google search ads which will allow customers to immediately get in touch with businesses via SMS text messaging.
Click-to-message ads combine text messaging with Google search ads in an effort to generate more leads and increase conversions from mobile customers. Advertisers can include an icon in their ads, which will allow customers to contact the company via text message when the icon is tapped on.
When the ad is tapped on, a pre-written message inquiring about the product or service will open in the customer’s default SMS messaging application. Customers can customize the message however they’d like, the pre-written message is just for convenience.
There’s no added cost to using message extensions. Just like any other pay-per-click ad, the advertiser is only charged if someone taps on the icon to send a text message. Setting up message extensions requires your business to have a phone number that is capable of sending and receiving text messages.
Google’s New “Fact Check” Label
A new “Fact Check” label which has been added to Google News to make it easier for people to find the most credible stories. It’s now among the variety of labels you’ll see in Google Search, such as In-Depth, Opinion, Wikipedia, Local Source, Highly Cited, and others.
Google is not manually fact-checking articles, it’s all up to the publisher to check the facts of the article, cite the sources, and add the “Fact check” label next to their piece of content. Adding the fact check label to a piece of content is done through a new type of schema markup called ClaimReview.
Google is aware that the label could be easily abused by just slapping it on to any piece of content, so the search giant has implemented a strict set of criteria a page must follow if it wishes to include the fact check label. If Google finds a page using the label, which does not meet the criteria, it may ignore the markup or remove the website from Google News completely.
Google is splitting its search index into a speedy mobile index, and a secondary desktop index. A new AdWords ad extension allows customers to connect with businesses via text message, and a new “Fact check” allows people to find the most trustworthy pieces of content in search results.
As always, we do our best to highlight the week’s top headlines. Did we miss anything? Leave a comment below and let us know which story was most important to you this week.