A look at how last week’s news affects mobile publishers…
Google Begins Mobile-First Indexing of Websites
Google has announced that it has started evaluating a handful of sites on their readiness for mobile-first indexing based on several criteria. Sites will be transitioned to mobile-first indexing when ready and the process is being closely monitored by the search team. This is the first indication that the mobile-first indexing process has actually started. Google said it will increasingly rely on the mobile version of a website’s content when indexing and ranking search results. It did not provide a timeline for the ultimate shift to the new process. Mobile-first indexing marks a shift away from the current practice of using computer programs to crawl, index and rank websites by first looking at the desktop version.
Safari Technology Preview 46 brings Service Workers to Apple’s Browser
Apple has released an update to version 46 of its developer-centric Safari Technology Preview. The browser release is the first from Apple to enable Service Workers by default (along with expected bug fixes). According to 9to5Mac, service workers “allow developers to build out flexible web applications that live outside the confines of the browser.” The publication says service workers could find their way onto iOS devices in the future, opening up the web for a whole new range of possibilities. Already available on Android, some sites have begun to take advantage of service workers to provide browser-based push notifications.
Seventy Four Per Cent of Marketers Expect Mobile Budgets to Grow in 2018
New figures from Forrester have revealed that almost three-quarters of marketers expect their mobile budget to increase next year, with a third expecting that increase to be 15 per cent or more. The data supports earlier forecasts that mobile display and social ad spending would double between 2017 and 2021. The research was in conjunction with the Mobile Marketing Association and found that “mobile ad spending is fairly evenly split between use cases, with 36 per cent of marketers using mobile advertising primarily for branding, 28 per cent for direct response, and 36 applying mobile to both. Video advertising attracts 30 per cent of mobile spending.” The report also says “while most marketers agree they’ll have extra money to work with next year, they are split on what to prioritize. 47 per cent say they are willing to sacrifice mobile advertising reach to improve the precision of their spending, while 32 per cent say they’d rather decrease precision for a wide mobile reach.”
Snap Launches Sponsored Animated Filters
Snapchat has expanded the opportunities of using its Animated Filters by launching “sponsored” Animated Filters that can be utilized by brands for short-form, high-impact ads sent in Snaps between friends. Mobile Marketing says this feature enables enable brands to “add animated fun to the photos and videos they capture and share, and are available for national takeovers in major markets across the world from today.” Snap’s own research shows the majority of interactions on Snapchat are between close friends, and 87 per cent of users rank close friends as the most influential factor in purchasing decisions (compared to 6 per cent for influencers and celebrities). Over 3bn Snaps featuring Filters are viewed on Snapchat every day.