Mobilegeddon is a day away, and there's no shortage of predictions around the impact these changes will have in the search result landscape. There’s also no shortage of predictions related to the anticipated blow-back to come from folks sure that Google’s about to hurt itself by imposing an “are you mobile friendly?” filter, thus no longer ranking the “best” sites at the top of search. I’m not here to weigh in on any of that. I’m pondering this from a more abstracted space, and wanted to get my thoughts on paper.
In the last few days, I've gotten it stuck in my mind that, when it comes to meeting searching consumers where they demands to be met, this next change by Google is no more than a logical step in technology’s natural path of enlightenment, figuring out how to fuse itself even more deeply into our lives. And, for large brands or small SMBs who didn't see it coming, nor made themselves ready in anticipation of the April 21st algorithm change, the annoying wake up call they may face seems most similar to a Zen Slap, a sharp awakening that grounds a person into the truth hidden in the moment without the veil of thought and preconceived notion to cloud it from the eyes.
Borrowing from another adage of the enlightenment school, this algorithmic move to mobile aligns the entire evolution of search to simply “Be Here Now,” the mantra taken from the title of the 1971 book of the same name by Ram Dass. Allow me an attempt to crowbar this iconic spiritual message into the Local Search space.
BeFor any business to have success reaching its searching customer base, they must exist online. They must have a well tended presence on the web. It needs to be comprehensive and it needs to be truthful, accurately reflecting all the attributes of that business, especially as it pertains to the information a searching customer might want to find quickly. A business must “be” where it can be found.
HereIf nothing else, consumer behavior has proven that customers look for and do business within an ever-narrowing physical sphere. When we search for many goods and services - and for sure when we search on a mobile device - we tend to expect and anticipate results that are “close by.” I’m “here.” I’d like my search results to lean toward my “here,” because that is where I tend to do most of my business. As search on mobile devices continues to grow, and shortly (this year?) will eclipse desktop search, this only becomes more critical relative to how and what results appear in search.
NowFaster, with less distraction, and more conveniently consumable; this is how the mobile searcher best engages with content on their little phone screen. They head into a store quickly after consuming search info. They transact business faster after consuming search info. The mobile searcher is a bit of a Holy Grail for marketers. The mobile searcher is so far down the buying funnel, you barely need to place a pillow under them to have them comfortably land as your new paying customer. Get to them in the “now,” when they are looking for you.
To me, all of this paints Google’s next algorithm shift as completely logical, nothing more than another step in the natural evolution of technology as it strives to become more “one” with we who use it. Am I a little off base? Sure, I may be. But I had a nice quiet weekend to simply “be here now,” and thought I’d share a rarely met moment of clarity in this search space as it flies in every direction, changing every time you look the other way.