Today, we’re taking a break from Mobilegeddon to share another Google mobile enhancement you might have missed. Google is rolling out an update to its search algorithm to change the URL structure of websites for mobile search results.
Who cares about URLs?
Google wants to make it easier for mobile users to find the best websites for their searching needs. Google also realizes that users aren’t reading and comparing every search result’s title, URL, and description to pick the best one.
Instead, they quickly scan results and then select the option that seems best. Well-structured, descriptive URLs assist this quick-scanner in their decision.
For example, if you’re browsing for a new video game, you’ll be more likely to visit the site www.videogamedepot.com then you would www.toydepot.com. The first URL offers context that the video game seeker will find exactly what they’re looking for, instead of taking the chance that Toy Depot carries video games.
Google Updates URLs to be Mobile-friendly
Google is updating the algorithm that displays URLs for mobile search snippet results to deliver more context clues than a poorly structured URL. Instead of displaying the full URL, mobile searchers will see the site’s name and breadcrumbs showing where the information is found within the site. Google defines a breadcrumb as a set of links that help a user understand and navigate your site’s hierarchy, like this:
Do a quick search on your mobile device, and you’ll notice a change:
Google will be showing both the breadcrumb URL structure and the name of your website, instead of the domain name and full URL. For example, if your URL is www.company.com/spring/blue-shirts.com, Google would split the URL into something like, company > spring > blue-shirts. Alternatively, they may use the breadcrumb structure of the page.
Don’t like how your URLs look? Well Google is supporting schema.org structured data to allow you to specify the website name to be used in the place of the domain name and the URL structure of the breadcrumbs.
Now is the time to look at your site’s URL structure. Site names and descriptive, user-friendly URLs (instead of arbitrary numbers and letters) are imperative to help mobile users find what they’re seeking and have a better experience with your brand. This change further cements the importance of thinking through your mobile users’ experience. It’s important to make searching for and interacting with your site as easy as possible from small smartphone screens.