SEO

The Future of Google: Apps, gTLDs, and the Truth Behind Mobilegeddon

Like the mighty T-1000, Google shifts and changes in real time to accomplish its goals of organizing the Internet’s data with little regard for the people affected. While this is further proof that Google is indeed SkyNet, as a marketer, it creates a difficult environment to co-exist. We are constantly telling our clients to stay ahead of the curve, even though at most times, that’s impossible because of how unpredictable Google tends to be.

So where is Google going? What’s Google’s next move? What do you, as a marketer, need to prepare for?

Busy day? If this blog post is TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read), click through the slideshow below. We summarize the whole post in 3 slides.

1. Google Pushing Its Way Into Your Site Design & UX

With the dawn of Mobilegeddon came Google’s first big push into your site design and user experience. So what’s the awful yet ingenious thing about this?

You thought they were just talking about your mobile experience.

You thought they were just talking about your mobile experience. twitter-icon

Google is great at misdirection and what they did here was make the general population believe that they were only concerned about your mobile experience. But what they were really doing was dipping their toe into something else completely.

Make no mistake: Mobilegeddon was a design and UX update. While it only affected mobile results — and consequently bullied thousands of sites to go responsive — it gave Google some insight into how well they could exert change on our sites, without directly commanding, “we want your site to be like this and look like this.”

mobile-responsive-design-google

Some will argue that they have been meddling in this for years. But I believe that sometime in the near future, we will be seeing algorithms benefiting sites that look and function a certain way, rather than just portions of a site that are coded a certain way.

2. Google Favoring gTLD Extension Specific Filters

This one is potentially years away, but I feel it is still worth mentioning with the trend of companies buying up specific gTLD (generic top-level domains) extensions. gTLD extensions are sites such as .travel, .newyork, .hotel, etc.  They go beyond the typical .com, .edu, .net, etc.

gtld-examples-google

Eventually, Google and other search engines will begin taking sites with certain extensions more seriously, as more and more companies start to build on them. twitter-icon I believe this to be especially true for the travel and hospitality verticals.

It makes sense that Google would add a way to filter results that focuses solely on new site extensions. This way, companies could base marketing campaigns around particular themes, without having to take a user to a general corporate or main .com site.

It makes sense that Google would add a way to filter results that focuses solely on new site extensions. This way, companies could base marketing campaigns around particular themes, without having to take a user to a general corporate or main .com site.

This would create an entire separate marketplace for paid campaigns, while also creating opportunity for long tail SEO campaigns as well.

The tricky part here would be to have specific guidelines around how these microsites would be indexed, to deter people from creating thousands of low quality sell pages geared towards these filters. As was stated earlier, this is a long way away, if it ever happens all. But we can’t ignore the potential of this trend gaining steam.

3. Google’s New Search: App Indexing

App indexing is the next horizon for search and it’s pretty exciting. Emily Grossman goes deeper into what app indexing means and how it all works in this fantastic article.

Deep linking to your app both with and without web-based content is going to spark a whole new discussion within the SEO community in the very near future. Like, now. The ability to have deep linking content within apps indexed is a pretty exciting thought, and one that answers a frequently-asked question to SEOs: “What about my app?”

appindexing-google

I now have a quality answer to that question. And while all of us are learning and formulating ideas and plans for this new algorithmic evolution, we can now add apps into our SEO arsenal when growing a client’s organic web presence. twitter-icon

And while all of us are learning and formulating ideas and plans for this new algorithmic evolution, we can now add apps into our SEO arsenal when growing a client’s organic web presence.

For all of you that are saying, “I’ve been doing that for years”: stop lying. You may have had a slide or two talking about a client’s app and how it fits into your organic strategy, but let’s be honest — there were very limited things you could do in this space. Now, we can optimize content within apps and through markup in order to get that content indexed. That’s new, and it’s exciting.

Predicting the Future of Google

As with anything that deals with Google, we can’t really predict what they’re going to do next. But hey, that’s part of the job. While I can now confidently speak to clients about their apps, I am still going to be giving uncertain answers around the emergence of gTLD extensions in the future. For every reality, I have two or three predictions that may never actually come to fruition.

So the question is: with so many uncertainties in this space and crystal balls in short supply, what are your predictions for the future?

Find out what else Google has up its sleeve: Read about the the impending 2015 Google Panda Refresh.

  • Olivier Mamet

    just keep adapting…

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