Google Ramps Up Focus on Mobile Search

May 28, 2015

As if we needed any convincing, Google is making it crystal clear that it is continuing to increase its focus on mobile users and their searches. There was the recent Mobile Friendliness Update, of course, which had businesses scrambling to ensure their sites were mobile friendly. The search giant also recently confirmed that they’re adding a “Buy” button to search results. And a new update provides users with a location-based paid results pack when they include the term nearby in their searches.

Why Mobile Matters

These moves underscore how important mobile search is, and how common it’s becoming.  Earlier this month, Google revealed that “near me” searches have doubled over the last year, with 80% of those searches coming from mobile devices. Perhaps  more importantly, for the first time ever, Google searches from mobile devices exceeded those on computers, an  important milestone than businesses can’t ignore. Whether you’re a small local business or a global enterprise, you’ll need to capture the mobile market to stay competitive.

While Google has emphasized that its intense focus on search is designed to provide users with the most relevant results, there’s one more reason why the search giant cares: a recent report from Goldman Sachs estimates that Google  earned nearly $12 billion in mobile search revenue in 2014 – nearly 20% of  its earnings overall.

What’s New to Mobile Search

Buy Button

At the recent Code Conference hosted by re/Code, Google Chief Business Office Omid Kordestani announced that search results will  soon be enhanced with the addition a buy button that allows searchers to buy products directly from the results page,  without ever leaving the Google platform. Describing the move as  “imminent”, Kordestani says the goal is to reduce friction in the online buying process.

Nearby Ad Pack

When a user searches for a business using a location qualifier (such as “near me” or “nearby”), they may now see a special ad pack that makes it  easy to connect with nearby advertisers. According to Google, the ad pack will “show three or four different businesses for location-related searches like ‘nearby auto repair'”, complete with click-to-call and directions buttons. The new ad pack relies heavily on extensions – advertisers will need to have location extensions enabled in order to appear in the results.  Additionally, up to four extensions can be triggered by the ads, including sitelinks, callouts and reviews.  Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog entry on ad extensions and how to use them to maximize your ad’s impact.

 

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