Hello and welcome back to the Reflect Round-up, I’m Helen, Head of SEO at Reflect Digital and I’m going to start off with some Google news.
Following on from my last round-up where I spoke about the changes to Google Now, this week has seen a continuation of Google’s spring cleaning, with yet more of their search functionality getting consigned to the retirement home...
This week’s victim of the search giant’s march towards mobile-dominance is Google Instant. It used to be that whenever you started typing a query in Google the results would start populating and change as you continued refining the query. The idea was to save milliseconds of time per search query, because Google knows, you’re busy people. However, this technology never featured in Google’s mobile search.
Google has been reported as saying the move away from instant search is in response to the growing trend of mobile searching and the different interaction and screen constraints that smaller devices bring. In a statement to the SearchEngineLand website, Google said “we have decided to remove Google Instant, so we can focus on ways to make Search even faster and more fluid on all devices.” To be fair to Google, most people didn’t even realise this was happening when they searched so I can’t really imagine it will be missed.
Next up, yet more changes to the Google SERPs! You know how, with some searches, the top result has those 4-6 extra links underneath its meta title and description? Those are called sitelinks. They are a great way to get some extra real estate in the Google results and extra links for searchers to click on to go through to your website instead of a competitor’s. But mainly, all that extra space dedicated to your website made it look super important and like you own the internet. Well, after months of testing Google has decided to change these links on mobile from the 2 columns you’ll still see in the desktop search, to a single tiny carousel of buttons. Makes sense really, all that extra space taken up by your website might have been awesome for you but it makes it a little annoying for mobile users who have to scroll down half a mile to find the next result.
Finally, there was such excitement, so much promise surrounding Google AMP. The accelerated mobile pages were designed to give, you guessed it… mobile users, lightening quick access to your website content, potentially raising your click-through rates from the SERPs and being the answer to speed issues that frustrate many a mobile searcher. However, problems with data reporting, users not realising what an AMP page even is and development complexities means that many people have started to regret their jump onto the AMP bandwagon and have been looking for ways to remove their AMP content from the SERPs. Google has finally provided instructions on how to do exactly this. So if that’s you, full of remorse and regret, head over to the Google Developer website and have a go at following the instructions, give up and call Reflect. We’ll help you.
That’s it for this week’s Reflect Round-up.