Category Archives: Mobile

Google is Going to Separate Mobile and Desktop Search Indexes

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Seems like Google is on a revamping spree. After making the penguin real time and doing some major changes in the local search, Google is now going to take a much bigger step.  The Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes has announced that Google is going to split its index between mobile and desktop, within the next few months. 

We all very well aware of Google’s obsession with Mobile devices, but now they are taking it a bit too far! They are going to have a “Mobile first” approach. OK, we understand that Mobile users are most likely to use the “Near me” feature hence it seems logical to provide them with the latest information, but doesn’t a desktop user require the latest information as well? 

However, it’s not clear that how out-of-date desktop index will be. But one thing is clear that Google will run ranking algorithm in a very different way across mobile content rather than the current pattern that extracts data from desktop content to determine mobile rankings.

Google Announced A New AMP Testing Tool

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Google announced the launch of a new testing tool for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).  

The tool is available in the Google search console and also at  https://search.google.com/search-console/amp 

The tool works on mobile devices with the help of Google’s live web search infrastructure & analyzes the AMP pages in real-time using Google bots.  The tool helps with testing the validity of structured data & markup on the page.

It also has links that show a live preview of how the page get displayed in Google’s search results, and if you find any issues, you can click on them to see the details.  After clicking on it, even the source code will be highlighted, showing you exactly where the error is.

It even has links to show you a live preview of how this page may appear in Google’s search results.

Below are the screen shots.

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AMP ENABLED ADS OFFER BETTER VISIBILITY & HIGHER CTRS, REVEALS AN ONLINE STUDY

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Google introduced AMP technology to content publishers promising that they would not only be able to sell and distribute their own ads on AMP enabled pages, but also keep the revenue generated from those ads.

When it comes to loading speed, AMP enabled pages are miles ahead of the non-AMP enabled pages, but it remains to be seen if they deliver on the revenue front as well. The study tracking the performance of ads on AMP enabled pages so far drew following conclusions.

“We compared ad performance on AMP and non-AMP mobile pages across 150 publishers (large corporations and small businesses in different geographic regions) on our programmatic platforms. The preliminary results are encouraging.”

The study observed that

  • Around 80% of advertising brands received higher viewership of their ads on an AMP enabled platform as compared to a non-AMP platform.
  • Almost 90% of advertising brands received higher CTRs on their ads through an AMP enabled platform as compared to a non-AMP platform.

As per the survey, advertising brands themselves vouch for the fact that AMP technology has played a significant role in driving greater results for their brands.

Let’s see what Conor Beck, representative from one of the advertising brands TownHall Media, has to say about the performance of their ads on AMP enabled pages.

“We’ve seen a 90% decrease in page latency, 96% decrease in unfilled impressions, 65% increase in ad engagement and 32% increase in eCPM. Perceived load time improved from approximately 17 seconds to 2–3 seconds.”

So far so good. However, it’s still too early to actually make a fair assessment of the performance of ads on AMP enabled pages. There’s still a lot to be done in terms of enhancing the quality of published content and audience experience, opines one of the AMP project representatives.

As far as the future of AMP pages is concerned, the company plans to introduce two new ad units. Sticky Ads, AMP ads and Flying Carpet Ads are some of the support forums that provide help related to advertising on an AMP enabled platform. More information pertaining to AMP page advertising will be made available to businesses in the near future.

GOOGLE UPDATES SEARCH ANALYTICS REPORTS TO HELP BUSINESSES TRACK THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR AMP ENABLED PAGES

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There’s great news in store for businesses who have not only got themselves a mobile friendly site but also upgraded their smartphone users’ experience with lightning fast Google AMP technology. After powering their websites’ pages with AMP technology, a lot businesses must be wondering how their AMP enabled pages are faring in the searches.

Well, seems like Google just heard you as it’s rolling out a new filter in the Google Search Console that will enable businesses to track the progress of their AMP enabled pages in the searches. Google’s reportedly added a new AMP search filter to the Search Console’s analytics report section that will allow businesses to filter those reports by AMP pages. This is how businesses can get find out how many searchers have come to discover their AMP enabled pages in mobile SERPs.

About the new feature, Google said that they’ve just started to roll out the new search filter as an addition to the Search Analytics report in Google Search Console. The newly added search filter informs businesses “which search queries lead to their AMP content being shown in the mobile SERPs?”

To track the progress of AMP enabled pages, businesses are required to set the filter in the Search Console’s Search Analytics reports by clicking on the drop down tag in the “search appearance” section. After selecting AMP pages from the listing, they will be allowed to compare how their AMP search metrics fared against other mobile SERP links. The feature will also inform businesses about the evolution of search visibility of their site’s AMP enabled pages over a period of time.

Here’s a screenshot.

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This is a welcome addition to Google’s AMP project after the addition of AMP error report to the Search Console in January, 2016, which allows webmasters to debug implementation errors in their AMP enabled webpages.

GOOGLE’S ROLLING OUT A NEW VERSION OF MOBILE-FRIENDLY TESTING TOOL

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After testing it out, Google’s officially announced the launch of new version of mobile-friendly tool on Google’s central webmaster blog post.

Recently, it was reported in some media circles that Google’s working on a new mobile-friendly tool that allows businesses to check the mobile-friendliness of their sites.

The new version of the mobile-friendly tool comes loaded with some feel good factors like a cleaner look with more space and loads faster than the previous version of the tool. Noticeably, Google had first launched the mobile-friendly tool 2 years ago, in 2014 and the latest update by Google seems to be the largest update to the tool since its inception.

Here’s what the new version of the tool looks like.

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The new tool is slicker and less frightening than the original tool. Google said it brings more “room to continue to improve on its functionality, and over time, we expect it to replace the previous Mobile-Friendly Test.” The tool is mobile-friendly as well! So you can test if your sites are mobile-friendly right on your smartphone. It seems like they mainly upgraded the backend infrastructure so that they can scale it later.

Right after the launch, there were some reports that the tool’s new version is not working on smartphones. But Google’s John Mueller, through his twitter handle asked everyone to remain patient as the update is still to be rolled out completely.

So if you are encountering any such problems, you’ll have to wait for the update to roll out completely.

Here’s the error report as encountered by some smartphone users.

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For more detailed information on the subject, you can write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

GOOGLE’S NOW TURNING THE HEAT UP ON SITES USING SNEAKY MOBILE REDIRECTS

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After serving several notices to businesses employing “sneaky” mobile redirects that mislead the users to do something unintended, Google’s now coming out to punish those who didn’t heed to its warning.

In its 2015 webspam report, Google had announced that they are taking manual action against sites that sneakily redirect the users. So businesses that recently witnessed a drop in their organic search ranking, need to verify the status of their site on Google’s webmaster forum.

Google’s webmaster forum will make you understand the process that you have to go through to clean up your site of the sneaky mobile redirects. After cleaning up the mess, the site owners must submit a reconsideration request to Google to hopefully waive off the penalties. This, in a way will also serve as a warning to other sites that intend to mislead their online visitors using sneaky mobile redirects.

It was in April, 2014 that Google first updated its webmaster guidelines pertaining to the use of sneaky mobile redirects. This was the first instance where the company openly warned businesses of mass manual actions against sites found guilty of using such tactics.

GOOGLE BRINGS A MAJOR UPDATE TO ANALYTICS MOBILE APP FOR BOTH ANDROID & iOS

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Google now wants to catch businesses on the go. That’s the reason why Google went for a makeover of its Google Analytics mobile app. The new Google Analytics mobile app update allows businesses to supervise and share key analytic information with their clientele and make necessary changes on an urgent basis. The updated Android and iOS version 3.0 is available to be used by businesses globally.

Listed below are some features that the updated version of the app promises to deliver

  • Improved communication on the go, like sending reports through text, chat, emails and much more.
  • Easy customization of reports and access to stored information for follow-up.
  • A brand new look and feel, making it more convenient to use than ever before.
  • Tap and swipe through metrics and dimensions with new scorecard visualization.
  • Add segments and dig deeper to make any changes and comparisons
  • Easy navigation and report discovery.

You can also check below the nine-minute tutorial video put together by the Google Analytics team on how to use the new and updated Google Analytics mobile app.

Although the company is working on adding a landscape mode, as of now the new Google Analytics mobile app is available only in the portrait mode.

IT’S TIME TO EMBRACE FUN AND INTERACTIVE IN-APP MOBILE ADS

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There’s no denying the fact that we all love to hate those annoying ads that pop up suddenly. The reason being, we don’t often find these time-consuming ads to be interesting and that’s why we tend to block them when they show up. But making these ads a bit more interactive could possibly make them more acceptable to the users.

In order to make them user-friendly, CrossInstall, a mobile programmatic platform recently announced the launch of interactive PrePlay ads. These ads allow users to try out the demo version of a game, before being directed to the App Store or Play Store to install it on their devices. According to Newzoo’s 2015 Mobile Marketing Report, the net worth of the gaming industry comes to round about $35 billion. This means that acquiring new customers to play games could prove to be a bit more challenging due to the rise in user acquisition costs. Ads may be annoying but they are a necessary part of the marketing campaign and often end up providing great marketing solutions. Hence, serving playable ads to users could help achieve more compelling views from potential customers.

Here’s what Jeff Marshall, CEO and Co-founder of CrossInstall was quoted as saying through a press release:

“CrossInstall’s PrePlay ads are designed to be interactive, playable ads that are tailored to the individual user, from casual to hardcore gamer, creating a fun and dynamic engagement. For users to return to a game, they have to experience and enjoy the first session. Playable ads remove this first step so the first point of contact happens before the download.”

Noticeably,  CrossInstall conducted an experiment and found that 30% of users went on to install an advertised app after a trial run.

APPLE TO LAUNCH APPLE PAY SERVICE FOR MOBILE USERS TO BOOST M-COMMERCE ON ITS PLATFORM

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In an effort to boost m-commerce on the iOS platform, Apple is reportedly expanding the horizon of its fingerprint-enabled Apple Pay Service beyond apps, to mobile websites. This means that Apple’s secure fingerprint-enabled pay service that let shoppers complete their mobile transactions via fingerprints, instead of entering their credit card information, will now act as a payment gateway for transactions on mobile websites.

On one hand, the move will potentially cut into PayPal’s position of dominance and on the other; it will accelerate the speed of mobile transactions on its platform.

According to reports by Re/code, the fingerprint-enabled Apple pay service will be made available to Apple users just before the start of this year’s holiday season.

“The service will be available to shoppers using the Safari browser on models of iPhones and iPads that possess Apple’s TouchID fingerprint technology, these people said. Apple has also considered making the service available on Apple laptops and desktops, too, though it’s not clear if the company will launch that capability.”

The payment friction experienced during mobile transactions has been one of the major reasons behind the significant drop on the platform. According to the research done on mobile payment methods, mobile gadgets contribute to only 3% of online transactions in the US, which includes 7% of young mobile users.

According to last year’s US Federal Reserve study on mobile payments and banking, it was observed that only 22% of mobile users used their smartphones for carrying out an online transaction in past 12 months or so. Online user data security is the main reason why mobile users prefer not to make online transactions via their smartphones.

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According to a survey in October 2015 by PYMTS.com, less than 17% of US iPhone users went on to try the new Apple pay system. More than security concerns, lack of awareness and uncertainty over the Apple pay-in procedure were being cited as the two main reasons by survey respondents for not using the system.

The limited or slow adoption rate of the Apple pay-in procedure by major online retailers is being cited as one of major reasons behind the slow growth rate of this payment system. In fact, major e-commerce ventures such as Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Kohl’s, CVS, Target and others are in the process of launching their own mobile payment platform such as CurrentC.

To add to users’ mobile transaction experience, Walmart recently launched its own payment platform. Whatever might be the future of CurrentC, it’s presence in the market is actually hurting the cause of Apple Pay and Android Pay platforms of being accepted by major e-commerce retailers.

Any fool-proof system that removes the consumers’ burden while doing an online mobile transaction is bound to attract a lot of attention. But for now it seems like the future of Apple pay system solely depends on the retailers’ and developers’ acceptance levels.

Apple Pay, Android Pay or Pay Pal – all these platforms are designed to add value to users’ mobile transaction experience. But as history suggests, the retailers and e-tailers often do not act in accordance.

For more information, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

BUSINESSES AT LARGE TEND TO NEGLECT CUSTOMER FEEDBACK: MOBILE APP SURVEY

Customer feedback plays an important role in roadmap prioritization for businesses. Amongst the various sources available for customer feedback, mobile apps and e-commerce channels are some of the preferred online destinations, these days. However, there are businesses that are unable to effectively use this free flowing expertise in making more informed product decisions. Those businesses that do are rewarded in the form of customer retention.

According to a new study from Apptentive and SurveyMonkey, businesses that gather and share customer feedback through their mobile apps are less likely to implement on or respond to the feedback they receive. The SurveyMonkey Team came to the conclusion after carrying out an online survey in December, 2015, comprising of more than 1,200 consumer responses.

customer-feedback-study

As per the Apptentive Study, when customer were asked how they prefer to provide their feedback to businesses, 93% of survey respondents said they would oblige only if asked, while only 1% of the customers were found to give unsolicited feedback. The Apptentive Study comprehensively used some of the standard surveying practices for collecting data via in-app customer responses.

The survey drives home the fact that customer feedback is an essential ingredient for generating customer loyalty and that ignoring the same could jeopardize customer retention. It was observed that customers, who responded, expected businesses to take some sort of action in-return. It was found that 55% of respondents were of the opinion that they were less likely to remain loyal to the company if their feedback is ignored. Even so, 67% of the respondents claimed that their feedback goes unnoticed.

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One of the main reasons why consumers offer feedback is to help businesses improve their products and services, rather than to get something in-return. As per the survey findings, “the top two reasons cited were to help other customers, and to help the companies improve their service in order to grow their business.” Almost all respondents were of the opinion that they would be more willing to provide their feedback, if the businesses listen and act accordingly.

The above data shows how consumers want businesses to appreciate their observations by inculcating them in their services and improving upon their offerings. As such, it’s not possible for businesses to pass on every idea from the support desk to product development unit. But at least the businesses can acknowledge and respond to the customer feedback, which will enable them to maintain their goodwill and customer loyalty.

For more info, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.