In three posts our newest special columnist Cindy Krum will take you through some essential mobile steps. Today the first in the series: Structured Data and How It can Improve Mobile Search Results.
For a long time, I have been focusing with my clients on not only mobile ranking, but also on the ‘look’ of their mobile search results. There is such a limited amount of screen real estate on a mobile SERP that you really need to make sure that your rankings are ‘touch-worthy’ and clickable. Structured data can really help with this!
Anything we can do to improve the ‘look’ of that result will make it much more appealing to a mobile searcher, and drive up the CTR. This includes adding in ‘rich snippits’, using author tagging, or schema.org formatting to help pull things like star rankings, relevant information or pictures into the mobile search results.
Lets consider the four results below for a mobile search on ‘gluten free apple crisp’. Each looks different from the other, though they all lead to a recipe for gluten free apple crisp:
Now, here is where this all gets weird and a bit confusing. Look at result ‘C’ from from the MinimalistBaker.com. In both desktop and mobile, this is actually the top ranking result. The difference is that the desktop result (for the exact same query and page) pulls in the full recipe micro-format, instead of using the authorship markup, as shown below:
Why is it showing one markup on mobile and a different, more compelling markup when the result is on a desktop or tablet? It appears that Google has an order of preference for the markup they will use, depending on if the search is from a mobile device or not; and when the results appear in a mobile search the preference appears to be social, over content-based. It is possible that this was just a fluke, or that Google was running a test, but either way, it is interesting!