Google Set To Display Separate Mobile Search Results
31st October 2016
With more and more consumers taking to their smartphones as a first step of buying their next car, car dealers must realise just how important it is for their website to be mobile responsive. (Find out why it is so important in our Why Car Dealers Need a Responsive Website article.
In fact, research by Auto Trader last year revealed that 41% of customers are now using their smartphone to research their next car purchase, a sign of how much this consumer trend is growing when you consider that this figure was at just 5% three years ago.
In case dealers were in any doubt about the importance of their website being mobile friendly though, the recent revelation that Google are planning to a roll out a separate search index in the coming months, one that is designed purely for mobile, has only further increased the importance of responsive web design when it comes to Car Dealer Websites.
At present, Google uses only one search index across all devices, with the mobile-friendliness of a website simply regarded one as of their various ranking factors – but their upcoming mobile search index is set to drastically change all that.
While all the details are yet to be released, Google have confirmed their plan is to make their new mobile index their primary index, basically meaning their desktop search results are likely to be less up-to-date, and possibly meaning updates and analysis of content on desktop-versions of websites will happen at a slower rate. If this does in fact turn out to be the case, it could be strongly argued that how a website performs and views on a mobile will prove to be far more important than how it fares on desktop.
With Google focusing a lot of their time and effort on their new mobile search index, it is logical to think that the scrutiny they place on how a website performs on mobile devices will be much more sophisticated than it is currently. Whereas at the moment it may be enough for a Car Dealer Website to simply be mobile responsive, going forward it is likely that search rankings on mobile will place much more emphasis on other factors such as mobile relevant content and links.
Another area that remains uncertain for the time being is just how much the performance of a website on mobile will affect its ranking in desktop search results. Even though Google has confirmed that they will have a separate search index purely for desktop, it is highly unlikely that the mobile performance would not have any impact on desktop search rankings at all, especially as this would appear to be a backwards step. While details of just how it will all work are yet to emerge, what is clear is that the days of having just one search ranking to monitor for each keyword will soon come to an end.
While we expect more information to be revealed on Google’s plans over the next few months, if car dealers have been putting off changing their website to ensure it is mobile responsive, now would be good time to seriously consider making the change in order to ensure that their business is able to offer consumers the type of buying experience they are becoming increasingly accustomed to. Even if a dealer’s website is already mobile responsive, they should consider reviewing it to find ways to further optimise it for mobile before the introduction of the new search index.
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