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Mobile Speed & AMP

Beyond App Streaming & AMP: Impact of Connection Speed on Mobile Search

Introduction


People in digital community must have heard of Facebook’s 2G Tuesdays. They were established to remind users that today also, a huge portion of the world accesses Internet on 2G connections rather than 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi.


An online marketer can simply forget the issue of slow connectivity, but Facebook is significantly sensitive to them. Report says, a large portion of their traffic is mobile and majority of users prefers using their mobile devices for accessing the Internet, rather than a laptop or a desktop.


Both Facebook and Google agreed on this topic. Digital marketers are well aware of the fact, that Google cares about disturbance and page speed, but many of us don’t know that Google also cares about connection speed.


Previous year, they started with testing the revived mobile trans-coding service, to make websites faster in countries like Indonesia and India where connectivity speed is a huge issue to look after. Recently, they added Data saver mode in Chrome, which creates a similar impact on browsing.


Ranking of AMP Pages in Google search results


Google will start with ranking AMP pages in mobile search results, from this month. This will allow mobile users to access news articles faster. In order to make web pages faster, Google is trying hard to make search results faster.


To increase the speeding of both websites and search results, Google is trying to make Chrome faster. Updated version of Chrome features a new compression method called Brotli, which ensures to compress website files 26% more than the previous version of Chrome.


Responsive Design is not the Solution


Responsive design can be great, but can cause significant problem for Google. Responsive sites are comparatively slower, but they can be built to function more quickly. Though the responsive designed pages are easier to crawl but developers saw losses in the overall conversions and time-on-site. Their page speed and UX are both impacted by the redesigns.


Is AMP the future of mobile search for slow connectivity?


To rank in Basic search results, AMP pages are great. They also work better over slow connections. Besides, they will also work better on smart watches, TVs, and Google is capable of providing content in any format it deems appropriate.


Connection Speed and App Streaming


Few months ago, Google announced a beta test for App streaming. In this test, apps are run and hosted from a virtual device in Google’s cloud. This helped users to access content without the need of downloading the app. As Google is working on detecting and perfecting the connection speed, it will be easy to find out how this new ranking factor will work heavily when App streaming will become a reality. App streaming will only work on Wi-Fi and they will make apps more like websites and deep links like regular web links.


Google’s Benefit in Adapting Results via Connectivity


Google’s interest in search results by connection speed is significant to their goals. Subscription models provide long term stable revenue with effort from Google. The more searchers will spend consuming data, the more Google can modify its marketing messages for them. Finally, the collection of people’s consumption data allows Google to evaluate which media is popular, so that they can settle the licensing strategy of Google Play to meet user’s demand, by improving the long term value to the subscribers.


Impact of connection variability on SEO strategy and Reporting


Inconsistency in connectivity will make mobile keyword rank reporting as well as attribution nearly impossible. All the SEO keyword tools are struggling to report on mobile search results, and they don’t take connection speed into account. This is the reason why app packs and website rankings are not reported properly.


On the other hand, most of the tools are not capable of reporting anything about deep links and thus it becomes difficult to know if the website is receiving click through traffic or is it getting directed to a deep screen in the app. Ranking tools have a long way to go before they become accurate in mobile. Basically in mobile, there are loads of additional factors that can change the mobile ranking as well as click through rates like Localization, AJAX expansion opportunities and featured rich snippets.


Google started including carousels that scroll left to right. This feature allows searchers to dive deeper into a particular type of result without the additional page load. But carousels don’t appear in the basic search result.


Conclusion


It is not only about page and latency speed, connection speed also matters. Though we can’t impact the connection speed of mobile users directly, we can at least foresee that the search results might vary as per the use-case of their search and strategy.


On the other hand, SEO’s and digital marketers should be aware of tools that report mobile keyword rankings without mentioning things like app packs ranking, location and connection speed.

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