Mobile Phones vs. Desktop Search

Ranking on mobile phones vs. desktop search

For years, designers would create website based on a concept known as SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, to achieve the top results on search engines for businesses. It seems that the concept of SEO has evolved into a new term for the current decade called LSO, or Local Search Optimization. This refers to content and websites getting ranked on mobile or location-based devices.

In 2015, Google announced new algorithm changes that would solidify LSO as a standard in website creation. Essentially, the new algorithm is used for ranking websites, based on local keywords, during mobile device searches. In order for a company to get these rankings on location-based devices, they must have a mobile-friendly or responsive website. This makes sense, since non-responsive websites usually draw a lower user experience because of the annoyance of zooming in or out on a page.[thumbnail target="_self" src=""]

In the past, non-responsive websites would still get high Google rankings, but not anymore. If a website is non-responsive, their ranking is essentially demoted for local or mobile searches. This is a new penalty that impacts businesses large and small. The new Google algorithm impacts searches all around the world.

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The good news for mobile-friendly websites is that they will experience real time traffic and immediate results from the changes. All mobile-friendly websites will also have a mobile-friendly label for searches. This is also good news for some e-commerce websites, which will benefit from higher conversation rates. About a third of all online traffic is already mobile, and this will certainly grow in the coming years.

Technically, if a business lacks a mobile-friendly website, this new algorithm will not impact desktop search rankings because Google implemented a unique mobile crawler just for mobile websites. However, this could change. For example, if a business had a non-responsive website, but achieved a high percentage of traffic from that website, they will lose out on that traffic. The lack of overall traffic could then in turn lower your desktop rankings. On the other side of this, some local websites, which are responsive but lack good desktop rankings, might see improved mobile rankings when the user is making location-based searches.

There are several ways that a business can ensure that their website receives higher mobile rankings. Websites should space links on a page and avoid pop-ups. Google even has a mobile-friendlyness tool help out with this. More importantly, location specific content is the best way to achieve location-based rankings. Google’s crawlers check for high quality local keywords and value those keywords on pages rather than on posts. They also value those valuable local keywords in the titles and in the meta-descriptions.

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