May 11, 2015
Say goodbye to seeing URLs when searching using your mobile phone. On April 17, Google announced its plan to replace the once-standard domain name with the real name of the website on all mobile searches. This update will give mobile searchers the ability to more quickly understand what a certain site is about before clicking to open its contents.
Although this update is US-based only, it also will include a breadcrumbs update that will roll out globally and will use schema.org structured data for its algorithms.
What are Breadcrumbs?
According to Google, “a breadcrumb is a trail of set links that can help a user understand and navigate your site’s hierarchy.”
When breadcrumbs are used in the body of your website or blog, Google can pull that information and place it into the search results, giving searchers a better understanding of what your page is about.
Two Main Changes
Again, with this new update, there are two main changes to pay attention to:
- Google will now show the Website name and not the domain name
- URL structure will now feature breadcrumbs worldwide
Although these are seemingly two small changes, it is time to make sure your website is prepared to rank high on a Google search.
Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
The push to have your website be mobile friendly is greater now than it ever has been – and for good reason! How many people do you see daily with their heads down and noses in their phones? Almost everyone you encounter at some point. Guess what they are doing? That’s right, reading and searching.
Regardless of the technology they are using, both Android and Apple use google as a default search browser and if your website is not mobile friendly, there is a good chance it won’t be found on a simple google search, even if your content matches exactly what they are searching for.
This is because Google now ranks mobile friendly websites higher on mobile searches, burying the non-mobile friendly sites at the bottom when they used to be higher in rank.
So what can you do to make sure your website is reaching everyone it needs to be reaching? First, you need to check to see if your site is mobile friendly. You can use Google’s mobile friendly test to see if your website is ready to go or needs some work. If you get the “Awesome, your site is mobile friendly” you have nothing to worry about and can rest assured that your site will continue to rank high on mobile devices. If the test tells you that your site is not mobile friendly, then you can follow the simple steps to make updates and changes that will it allow it to be mobile friendly. All hope is not lost.
Ok, I’m Mobile Friendly, Now What? 3 Ways To Optimize Correctly
Once you are all set to be mobile friendly there are three things to do to make sure you’re getting the best results.
- Search your site. Run a simple Google search from a mobile device to see if your site is formatted correctly. If it is, there should be a mobile friendly label underneath the search results. If you see the label, you are good to go. If you don’t, it’s time to go back and do some more work!
- Monitor your website. Searching one time should be enough, but let’s be realistic, with the way things change, small, seemingly insignificant changes can throw everything off. Even though your first search turned out exactly how you planned, you should search again during different times and dates, just to make sure you really are good to go. Your website rankings depend on it!
- Still, remember desktops. Don’t ignore the fact that just because your site isn’t mobile friendly and won’t rank high on mobile searches until it is fixed that it won’t impact desktop searches as well. Although thought to be mutually exclusive, that is not always the case. As more and more changes roll out, website rankings that are not mobile friendly can easily drop on desktop searches as well. Google may downgrade the site across the board and you would be losing a lot of traffic, not just from the mobile crowd.
A Small Change Could Bring About A Huge Impact
What may seem like a small change to the algorithm for mobile searches and the way domain names are displayed may actually make a huge impact on your website searches. Now is the time to not only ensure your site is mobile friendly, but to make sure the name and structure are consistently updated throughout your site, reflecting exactly what you want mobile searchers to see so Google can accurately pull the information.
While it may seem minor if Google pulls the wrong name information into mobile search, it can actually significantly affect the traffic you receive. If the name of your site has nothing to do with what the searches are about, users are more likely to skip over your result because they feel there is nothing of importance to them on it. If your name reveals exactly what your website, and ultimately, your search is for, you are going to hit a home run in traffic and in mobile rankings.
We will continue to see changes to the algorithms Google uses because the world of technology never stops spinning. The best we can do is to be prepared, to research thoroughly and to constantly make our sites better and more user friendly.
Julia Spence-McCoy is the CEO of Express Writers, an online copywriting agency that began in 2011 with thousands of web content pages written to date and more than 50 talented writers on the team. Her passion is copywriting and all that pertains, including the ever-changing game of Google algorithm updates.