NCI Blog

Google Changes Its Search Rules (Again)

Posted by Owen Barnes on 13 May 2015

Digital marketing trends change as much as the Irish weather - particularly Google SEO rules. The tech giant announced earlier this year that it was making a change to its search algorithms which would begin to factor in a website’s “mobile-friendliness” as a ranking signal. This means that those sites which weren’t optimised for smartphones’ smaller screens would see their ranks downgraded as a result.

In order for a site to be considered mobile-friendly, its text has to be readable without tapping or zooming. Tap targets also need to be spaced out appropriately, and the page needs to avoid unplayable content.

In other words, the site simply needs to be easily usable from a mobile device, and not be clunky or inaccurate. Most corporate websites are designed for large computer screens and fast internet connections – even though half the population browses the web through smartphones such as the iPhone.

Google is also tidying up its search results, removing URLs from the results page and replacing them with a ‘breadcrumbs’ structure that will show where on a site a result is coming from. Google will no longer display web addresses in mobile search results, instead showing the constituent parts of the URL broken apart into a “breadcrumbs” format.

The advantages to making a site mobile-friendly aren’t just good for Google and consumers – they’re good for site owners, too. For sites that are mobile-optimised, search sends a number of visitors to smartphone sites and contributes to a significant portion of a website’s revenue.

According to a study of 100 top mobile properties by Branding Brand, search accounted for nearly half of all smartphone traffic (43 percent) in Q1 2015, up 5 percent from the prior quarter. In addition, organic search produced 25 percent of all revenue on smartphone-optimised sites.

Want to learn more about NCI's digital marketing course? Our Certificate in Digital Marketing (Level 8) provides a comprehensive overview of the best-practices for Google advertising and UX. In NCI’s Digital Marketing course, you’ll learn the ins and outs of search (SEO and SEM), email, social media, mobile marketing, strategy and planning from digital marketing experts currently working in the area. If you enjoyed this piece you'll love our post on Facebook Atlas and the effect that it will have on digital marketing.

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“Thank you NCI for everything during the Digital Marketing course - I very much enjoyed participating and certainly learned a lot. Eva’s input and encouragement was great. The interesting thing is that the course seems like more of a 'beginning' than an end - there are loads of aspects I plan to keep chipping away at and hopefully develop further.”

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Topics: Digital Marketing, Marketing