With Ad Blocking On The Rise and The Mobile Web Expanding, SEO Becomes More Important Than Ever Before


June 28th, 2016

Marketing Land published an article recently stating, “33 percent of internet users will be ad blocking by next year”.

They also shared the following details :

  • Forecaster eMarketer estimates that this year, 70 million people in the US will use ad blockers, representing growth of nearly 35 percent year over year.  Next year, the company estimates that nearly 87 million internet users in the US will be blocking ads.
  • PageFair released a mobile ad-blocking report indicating that 419 million people around the globe were blocking ads on mobile devices. The majority were located in Asia, fewer in North America and Europe.
  • According to online polling firm CivicScience, 55 percent of survey respondents had ad blockers on their PCs, and 25 percent had them on their smartphones.  

The ads are being blocked but the use of search engines is no way on the decline.

ad blocking and SEO

 

As the no. of online users go on increasing multi fold every minute the need for every business to have a quality web presence across all types of devices being used becomes all the more a priority and a necessity and not an option.

According to additional statistics:

  • Around 40% of the world population has an internet connection today.
  • In 1995, it was less than 1%.
  • The number of internet users has increased tenfold from 1999 to 2013.
  • Today there are more than 3 billion people online.
  • Mobile access to the Internet will be instrumental in bringing the next billion people online.

In today’s digital world, we are all living our lives on multiple screens. With affordable devices and easy data plans mobile usage has grown exponentially, almost to the point where it is becoming increasingly clear that people are now using their mobile devices for doing everything they would previously do on a desktop. In fact, Internet searches on smart phone now exceed desktop searches.

The mobile Internet does not just liberate us from the constraints of a wired connection, but it offers hundreds of millions around the world their only, or primary, means of accessing the Internet. Second, the mobile Internet does not just extend the reach of the Internet as used on fixed connections, but it offers new functionality in combination with new portable smart devices.

The rapid increase in mobile usage has changed the way users look for information on the Internet — to buy or to interact with brands before making their purchase decisions.

Here are some stats that show why businesses can no longer afford to treat mobile as an afterthought:

  •  80% of internet users today own a smart phone.(Global Web Index)
  • In the past two years, the number of consumers that consider mobile as their preferred device for researching products on the Internet has jumped from 25% to 53%. (Marketing Week)
  • 16 to 24 year olds spend an average of 3.25+ hours per day online on a mobile.(Global Web Index via Heidi Cohen)

For business owners and marketers in India, it’s time to pay more attention to mobile because:

Marketers must identify these different patterns of user behavior

to be able to boost their chances of attracting their target audience and converting a sale. From this standpoint, it’s critical for them to understand and stay current with ‘mobile search’ trends.

Mobile using customers are typically more impatient, and even unforgiving, when it comes to website load times.

According to some stats shared by Mobile Marketing Engine:

  • Over 70% of mobile consumers expect web pages to load almost as quickly or faster, as they do on their PC.
  • 74% of them will only wait for 5 seconds or less for a website to load on their device.
  • 46% of them will probably never return to a website if it didn’t load properly on their first try.

Without a fast-loading website, you’re at a greater risk of losing customers to your competitors.

With the change in the user behavior, the search engines too are working on the search experience for the mobile web users .

To improve the performance of the mobile web and to aid the creation of fast-loading mobile web pages, Google launched an open source initiative called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in October 2015.

Search  at Google  I/O 2016  too was Dominated By Updates On Mobile Search, App Indexing  And Structured Data.

Google-io-2016

Google I/O 2016 discussed:

  1. Introduction of  rich cards
  2. New Search Console reports
  3. Real-time indexing
  4. Getting up to speed with Accelerated Mobile Pages
  5. A new and improved Structured Data Testing Tool
  6. App Indexing got a new home (and new features)
  7. App streaming

At the Google AMA talk at SMX Advanced this year, Gary Illyes the  Standup Trends Analyst at Google (@methode)  gave the audience two things regarding the mobile web.

danny-sullivan-gary-illyes-smx-advanced-1920-768x432

  • He said that AMP is going to be big, and SEOs and webmasters should think now about getting ready for AMP.
  • He also said, Currently, Google’s search results for desktop and mobile use the same index and almost all of the same ranking signals. Google is looking to separate some of them out. Google has told us in the past that they are experimenting with this, and Google is clearly still working on a mobile-only index.

All this proves that with the increase in the mobile traffic the focus needs to be on the mobile search presence. As the maximum ad blocking comes from mobile devices.

As the paid media is facing a setback due to ad blocking, the focus needs to be on the earned presence and the owned presence. If the site is optimized well and the business has a good interactive social media presence it surely is not only going to help in reaching out to the targeted audience but also help in contributing to the trust factor.

But, all this is easier said than done. One needs to have the right approach, patience and a long term strategy to achieve the goal of being found for the right searches.

We need to keep in mind that the search engines started with a purpose of giving genuine organic results and not paid results. If any search engine focuses on paid search only it will be deemed as a paid directory and be abandoned. The web has witnessed the decline of many directories over the past decade.

The psychological factor also hints that the users trust the organic search results more than the paid results.

The future belongs to a platform where unbiased genuine results will be served to the user for whatever searches he makes. The Power Lies In The Hands  Of The People (The User) In Co Relation To Search And The WWW. The search engines too gear and navigate their development efforts according to the peoples demand, likes and dislikes and changing search behavior .

Hence, as a business owner currently one needs to focus on:

  •  An extremely user friendly website
  • Optimize it for search engines
  • Upload regular, relevant and fresh content
  • Have an interactive, engaging social media presence
  • Focus on the mobile presence by having a responsive website or/and a Mobile App. Depending on the need, purpose and the target audience.
  • AMP is just at the initial stages but, now is the time to prepare for the future.

As Bill Gates has rightly said,:

 “WE ALWAYS OVERESTIMATE THE CHANGE THAT WILL OCCUR IN THE NEXT TWO YEARS AND UNDERESTIMATE THE CHANGE THAT WILL OCCUR IN THE NEXT TEN. DON’T LET YOURSELF BE LULLED INTO INACTION”

The importance of SEO can never be ignored. Whenever, someone on the web mentions ‘SEO IS DEAD’, it comes back to life with more vigor and vitality. In fact, with the expansion of the mobile web, SEO has got more extended and more technical.

As the search algorithms get more sophisticated, the SEO deliverables too get more technical.  As  SEO now needs to focus more on speed, privacy, security, app challenges like giving the user a seamless experience from being navigated from the app to the website and back.

This according to me gives the industry its reputation and importance, because finally it is becoming more and more difficult for black hat SEOs to spam results and take the people for a ride.

About The Author

Founder of WebPro Technologies a Web solutions company based in India which focuses on building quality web presence for businesses. Bharati Ahuja is a SEO Trainer and speaker, Web Entrepreneur, Blog Writer, Internet Marketing Consultant.

Website: http://www.webpro.in/about-bharati-ahuja/

Digital Marketing Agency India