When it comes to dreaded deadlines, April 15 may be one of the worst. Tax day can be the stuff of nightmares for procrastinators who put off filing in hopes of more motivation another day. Plus, if it doesn’t get done, there’s always the possibility of an extension. That won’t be an option though with Google’s April 21 changes in mobile search results.
Webmasters received their notice when Google first announced the change in a post on its Webmaster Central blog on Feb. 26. Addressing users’ (or Google’s) desire for timely and relevant search results, the algorithms will have to adapt to changing usage patterns. This is just another aspect of Google’s ongoing experiment of mobile friendliness as a ranking symbol.
Making SEO-ers Work Overtime
The announcement found webmasters earning their overtime as they worked to make sure mobile sites were fully optimized and without mobile usability issues. Earlier in the month, a hiccup in the Google Webmaster Tools created problems by flagging sites previously ranked for mobile friendliness as being broke. The workaround found webmasters having to run individual pages through Google’s Mobile Friendly Testing Tool rather than relying on the ux scores from the Google Page Speed Insights which presents the potential of robots.txt to block files.
Jumping the Next Hurdle
In addition to desiring timely and relevant results for mobile, the April 21 change will also be looking for the same level of mobile friendliness from apps. Google’s App Indexing feature allows Google to index apps in the same way it indexes websites, helping mobile users land on the right content within the app with options for the Android Studio Version and the Google App Version. Deep links enable the app to show up within the Google search results, a.k.a. the blue links.
Considering the ever-growing number of apps out there, it will be more important than ever to look for every possible opportunity to optimize apps for organic search rankings and to enhance the circular pattern of awareness. Optimization increases the apps visibility within the app store, this builds awareness in Google’s search, which in turn alerts users to the app within search rankings, driving more downloads.
Tips for Optimizing an App
- Call out the brand name – Prominently feature the brand name in the naming of the app. The app name will then double as the link anchor text in the App Store and in the Android Market. Don’t neglect to also add the brand name in the URL download.
- Don’t bury important links – Make it easy for users to find the app by placing a link to the app profile on the home page or the site footer.
- Demonstrate the brand impact – Liberally apply the brand name in the app profile page in addition to linking through graphics.
- Spread the word – Never assume users already know about the app and its benefits. Cross promote it to users, searchers and bots alike.
Don’t worry about how to keep up with the changing mobile landscape. Talk to the search engine marketing specialists at Rank Fuse Interactive about creating a search engine optimization plan that keeps pace with the changes.