Businesses are being warned to prepare for an impending shake-up of Google’s search parameters, with one digital agency suggesting the changes could turn rankings on their head.
According to Woj Kwasi of South Australian-based digital agency Kwasi Studios, 2018 could be the year that Google will roll out its mobile-first search program.
“While Google has been working on the mobile-first index for some time, there’s been talk that this could be the year it happens,” said Mr Kwasi.
“We all know that making sure your website ranks well in search results is important to being found by customers. And businesses are aware of the importance of having a mobile-responsive website.”
Mr Kwasi described the change as “a new frontier” for online searching, meaning that businesses will need to be more focused on the performance of their mobile sites than they may have been up to this point.
“Google has stated that most people are searching on Google using a mobile device, yet its search ranking systems have, until now, typically looked at the desktop version of a page’s content to evaluate its relevance. Mobile-first indexing is going to change that,” he said.
“Within mobile’s highly limited screen real estate, there are only a few on-page elements that will have a strong influence on whether visitors decide to stay or go.”
“The most influential elements are likely to be the main headline and a small amount of text like a subheading or an image.”
To avoid dropping down Google’s rankings, or off the list altogether, Mr Kwasi urged businesses to ensure their web developers are prepared for the change in advance.
“If you can’t be found on Google, it decreases your ability to be competitive,” he said.