Earlier this week, Google made a change to the way they display mobile search results. The changes are minor, but they seem to have been made in an effort to make it much clearer to the end user the source of the link. A minor change to the way search results are displayed on mobile might seem insignificant, however, for website owners and publishers this change could spell great news, helping them to increase their visibility among a crowded search page. In this blog, we are going to go into more detail about exactly what changes have been made and how you can take advantage of them to help your website’s visibility.
As you can see in the image above, the changes are subtle. For normal search results underneath the advertisements, the source of the website used to feature in smaller green text underneath the page title. This has now been moved to the top of the results ‘card’ and the website’s favicon is displayed adjacent to the link, giving much more prominence to the brand, website owner, publisher etc. A subtle change, but one that could be significant, especially if you’re a small business in a crowded market. If you have a strong brand and recognisable logo, this design change could help you stand out more, not only to your existing customers but to other potential customers who may know of you but have never quite made it to your website in the past. More globally, the change could help combat the tide of ‘fake news,’ with reputable sources being more easily identifiable when reporting on hot button issues. To fully take advantage of this change, ensure your website’s favicon is updated to represent your current brand identity. Having an out of date image appear next to your search results could mean that users go elsewhere having not recognised you from the crowd.
Another change that may not spell as good news for business owners is how advertised search results display. Previously, these results were relatively easy to identify; granted, they are always at the top of the results, but the eye was also drawn to the Ad box in green that easily altered the user to the paid for the advertisement. Now, adverts appear much more similar to an ordinary search result with the website publisher appear at the top of the ‘card’ with Ad next to it in black. It’s a change that could see many more people clicking on paid for search results without necessarily realising it, which will make Google a lot of money. But it’s nothing to get too incredulous about; with the majority of users being aware that the first few results are ads, the new changes streamline the visual experience for the user, and tie in with the design direction Google is taking its search engine in – the ‘cards’ format mentioned earlier allows Google to incorporate many more inputs and actions into the search result itself, meaning there’s much more available interaction before a user even has to enter the site itself.
The changes have been rolled out only on mobile to start with, but it’s likely that they will be implemented across all devices very soon. We mentioned earlier the importance of taking advantage of this and making sure your website’s favicon is up to date. Instructions on how to do this are here, however, if you’d like some professional advice on how best to represent your business online, or on how we can help improve your website, contact Koncept today!