If it feels like there are endless articles and social media posts about how to prepare your website for Google updates, it’s because there are!
Google is constantly making its search engine as good as it can be, impacting how they measure websites to show.
In September 2022, Google announced new features coming to Google mobile search in the coming months. Some of these updates will be only available in some countries and languages to start, with plans to roll them out worldwide if they are popular.
Now, this is going to potentially impact:
- Your website’s ability to rank well on searches performed on mobile.
- New options available for your website to be found.
The good news is, we are here to break down what updates are coming and some ways you can help your website stand a chance.
If you want to be notified of updates like these as they’re happening, be sure to subscribe to the Localsearch Digital Newsletter to receive them straight to your inbox.
Now, onto the good stuff.
5 Changes Coming to Google Search on Mobile in 2022
1. Results in the search bar.
In the coming months, mobile Google users will start to see results and search refinement suggestions appearing as they type in the Search bar.
Google’s examples for the new features coming to mobile search were all based around location-specific searches and travel. A specific mention was about how searches for cities may show you videos from visitors of the city, things to explore, tips for exploring the city and more.
This is a golden opportunity for local businesses if you are optimised for localised search. Location pages, guide-style blogs, reviews and videos are going to become crucial it seems.
Google also mentioned understanding how people search is big in their direction. This is where we give you a reminder to create content for your business based on being authoritative, informative and reputable.
2. Google Web Stories.
One of the many features Google may show in the search bar is Web Stories. This stems from the Web Stories plug-in for WordPress websites, one of the many Google Creator tools.
On Google’s Creator site, they recommend Web Stories:
- Tell stories that need to be seen. What do people want to know about what you do or where you are?
- Bring your story to life. Make what you’re telling interesting. Edit your story so it’s engaging to watch and visually appealing.
If you’re already using TikTok or Instagram Stories, it may be time to experiment with the Web Stories plug-in to help them appear on Google too!
3. Shortcuts on Search.
Did you know you can search on Google by inputting audio, images and more? Well, not only do you know now, but Google is also going to start reminding you more with shortcuts to these options for searching in the Search bar on the Google app for iOS.
You’ll even be able to hum to search for a song on Google now! And we mean now as this feature should already be available.
But as a business how do you take advantage of shortcuts on Search? If you’re optimising the content and features on your website, including your images, video, audio and more, you have better chances of showing up with the solution for these alternate search options.
We’re talking alt. text and proper naming conventions on images. Using schema to help Google identify videos and audio, and more.
4. Combined text, images and video search results.
Google is ‘reimagining’ the way they deliver search engine results.
When you search on the Google app, you’ll start to see a collection of different mediums in your results, such as web pages, images and videos. So, instead of clicking on different tabs, you’ll be able to scroll through different mediums to help you receive as accurate a result as possible.
How can businesses take advantage of Google’s mixed-media search results? Again, it comes down to optimising every feature on your website correctly. You’ll also want to explore different ways of delivering information.
Could that blog also make a good short video? Do you have images related to the written content on the page? You don’t need to spend hours and hours or loads of money making a variety of content either. Your phone holds everything you need to write blog posts, take images and make quick, basic edits to videos.
5. Multisearch Near Me.
Saving one of the best of Google’s mobile Search updates until last.
Imagine you are scrolling Instagram and you see a photo of a delicious pasta dish. You screenshot the image, throw it into Google and you get a list of restaurants who serve that dish you’re drooling over.
Well, that will be the reality with the Multisearch Near Me update coming to the U.S. later this year. As with most updates, if it’s popular and well-received, we can expect to hopefully see it in Australia soon.
The good news is, this gives businesses time to get their websites ready for such an update and the potential this brings them. As with all the other optimisation tips in this article, you want your website to be fully optimised for location, products/services and be the reputable source for information.
This means optimising images, adding schema, producing quality content that answers a query or question and more.
How to Stay Ahead of Google Updates
1. Future-proof your website.
Good search engine optimisation (SEO) doesn’t aim to just get you results short-term — that’s what Google Ads are for. SEO should give you long-term growth if it’s done correctly.
You want to focus on:
There is so much more you can do, but SEO is not a set-and-forget activity. While you can future-proof your website, you need to keep up with maintenance to ensure it stays that way.
2. Understand how search engines work.
Getting your web pages to display at the top of relevant search engine results comes down to truly understanding what search engines do — and that’s providing the most relevant, trusted solutions to a search query.
But what does that even mean?
When optimising your website for search engines, you want to put the user first. Can the user find the answers they need fast and easily? Is it easy to navigate your website and find more information? How quickly can someone contact you? Are you a reputable source for this information?
Again, there are so many elements that contribute to your website being user and search engine friendly, including design, content, backend functionality and more. If you need help, this next time will help you.
3. Get the help of a professional.
Even if you understand how to optimise your website, do you have the time?
Either way, leaving your search engine optimisation up to the experts is going to help you save time, money and being annoyed.
One of the many frustrations of search engine optimisation is knowing what to update when. Making too many changes at once or at the wrong time could be as damaging to your search engine results (and how many people can find you) as doing nothing at all!
When searching for a professional SEO service, ask to see case studies and read their online reviews. This is a good indicator of the results you can expect.
Lastly, avoid any SEO professional who makes specific promises, such as getting you to number one on Google, as there is no way to guarantee specific results with SEO.
4. Keep an eye on your website analytics.
How many people visit your website every week? Is it more than this time last year? Have you been steadily gaining, maintaining or losing website visitors over time?
Did you notice an increase in enquiries or website visitors after a particular change to your website? Or did it do the opposite or nothing at all?
Your analytics are the key to understanding how your website is performing. Google Search Console will show you things like how many times your web pages (and which ones) are appearing in search engine results and then how many people are clicking. It will even show you how people are finding you.
Google Analytics, on the other hand, will show you how many users (new or existing) are visiting your website, how they’re travelling around your website, if they’re contacting you, etc.
Localsearch website and SEO clients also receive access to the complimentary Nucleus reporting dashboard, which shows you everything you need to know in one place.
5. Subscribing to reputable digital newsletters.
Some good sources for Google update news include:
Google Trends are also useful for keeping track of articles containing specific keywords, if you want to dive into specific topics of search engine optimisation.