Google Preview For Mobile

Posted on March 14, 2011 in Search Engine Optimization, SEO

Earlier this year, Google announced an update, called Google Preview, in which users could click on the magnifying glass next to a search result to see a small preview of the website. Once clicked, hovering over any search result would show users a preview of each website, making it easy for users to choose the website which appeared to best suit their query needs, via good content, images, videos, etc. Now, Google has released the preview feature for mobile phones. The feature doesn’t work exactly the same, however. Smartphone users, who are logged into their Google accounts, can tap the magnifying glass next to a search result, just as a desktop user would (minus the tapping – they’d have to click!). Once clicked, a new window will load, showing a scrollable list of search results, all in preview form. While it may take a minute for these preview tiles to load, it prevents mobile users from having to repeatedly click back to their SERP (Search Engine Results Page) until they find a site they like. As always with Google, the purpose of this update is to reduce search time for users.

As with desktop Google Preview, which I had previously discussed, businesses should take note of this update. While the update is simply new and convenient for users, it may be new and inconvenient to business owners. When quickly searching for a relevant website, one factor that users will use to assess each preview site, is whether or not it is visually pleasing. Although a visually pleasing site, may turn out to be a content farm, or to be unrelated to the query, users undoubtedly choose ‘pretty’ sites, more often than ‘boring’ sites. Therefore, you may want to take a look at your website as a whole, as well as a mini preview tile of your home page to see if you think others would consider it ‘pretty.’

Users will also immediately notice in a small preview, whether or not your site has images and videos on the home page. Images and videos lead users to believe they can quickly find the information they’re looking for on your site, without having to read through endless pages of boring text. Users want quick results and quick answers, and as i’ve said before, that is the main purpose of providing short, informative videos for VSEO. Text alone does not typically provide quick and interesting answers.

As we all know, more and more Google users are performing searches from their mobile phones. Obviously, as this trend continues, Google, as well as other search engines, will make constant adaptations to increase user friendliness and to reduce search time. This means, frequent updates, which may or may not be similar to updates for desktops. So far, most mobile updates require the same changes in your SEO plan that the desktop updates required. Luckily, for your business, that means only minor SEO changes are needed for each type of update. However, to avoid potential rank drops and a reduction in website visitors, I would advise that you stay on top of each and every search engine update.

Sara Beaudoin is the Marketing Communications Manager for SearchPro Systems