Having been labelled an armageddon by Forbes, it’s fair to say that Google’s algorithm change has been pretty underwhelming.
But to say there’s been no change would be incorrect. Websites that haven’t been optimised for mobile suffered a 10% lull in traffic and a 16% increase in traffic costs since Google started to favour mobile-friendly sites.
We now spend an average of 23 days each year on our mobiles. Many people now see no need for an alarm clock, a watch, and increasinglya desktop computer. This has opened up a number of opportunities for marketers, and Google’s algorithm change should give those which concentrate on mobile a sturdier platform from which to advertise.
According to the 2015 Global Location Snapshot report - which polled 574 companies around the world - 27% of ad-agencies rank mobile advertising as a top priority, a sentiment also shared by a fifth of consumer-facing brands. Yet despite this recognition, 3 in 10 claim that measuring the success of their mobile campaigns remain their top concern.
Mobile’s lack of measurability is a misconception. Apple and Google have advertising identifiers, for example, which work in a similar way to how cookies do on desktops. The problem lies in the fact that most brands have yet to find a suitable benchmark from which to compare their digital endeavours. While the metrics to measure success aren’t completely different from desktop, they need to be tweaked, with survey measurement, for example, needing to be avoided at all costs if possible.
An area which mobile advertisers can delve further into is tapping into the consumer’s subconscious. A number of studies have noted that around 90% of the brain’s activity is confined to the subconscious, yet it remains uncharted territory for most mobile advertisers. There’s good reason for this. Up until recently - before wearable tech had been introduced to the consumer market - the subconscious was untraceable, but now, through devices such as MindWave, Muse and Melon, it’s possible.
The future of mobile advertising is also likely to be shaped by privacy. The importance of privacy differs from person to person, but mobile advertising does normally involve considerable personal-data digging, and it remains to be seen how that will shape the space moving forward. Will it make adverts more uniform as privacy restrictions become more stringent? This is unlikely to happen, with a more likely outcome to be a more lenient approach to data collection.
Google’s algorithm change, coupled with the growing sophistication of mobile advertising, means that it’s heading in a different direction. Whether it’s getting into the user’s subconscious, or changing privacy perceptions, mobile advertising is moving forward, and quickly.