Mobile SERPs (search engine results pages) are changing faster than ever.
At the beginning of 2023, Google announced a long list of new features it planned to roll out over the course of the year, and we’ve seen many of them come to fruition globally or show up in Google Labs.
While good search engine optimization (SEO) focuses on making it to the top of the SERPs, advanced SEO is about staying ahead of the changes. Let’s look at some of the latest additions to the mobile SERPs and the information we can glean from them.
New Mobile SERP Features for 2023
Perspectives & Other Filters
When you use Google on your mobile phone to research a topic with the potential to be controversial, you’ll notice a group of buttons under the search box to help you narrow your results or learn more about the topic.
Perspectives is one filter that came with much hype this year. Google explained that it’s meant to highlight first-hand knowledge or experience from a variety of voices.
For example, if you type “Is Santa Claus real” in the search box, you’ll find several buttons, including Perspectives, to help answer your question.
Here’s what the Perspectives results look like for that query:
You can see the answers include content from YouTube videos, Quora, and Reddit, showing what kind of websites might be more likely to rank for this feature. If your site includes user-generated content (UGC) or a blog highlighting personal experiences, it might be included here.
About This Result (Beta)
Clicking on the three vertical dots next to a result opens a pop-up menu that may include “about this result.”
Because this feature is in beta testing, it may not show up in every case. If you do find the option, the answer may look like this one:
In this case, Parade was a well-known newspaper with a Wikipedia page that Google pulled from for this feature. If your organization has a Wikipedia page, it’s easy for Google to find information about it. We’ve also seen Google use a YouTube channel’s description and a sentence about when a website was first indexed to show why it’s a trusted source.
Search Generative Experience (SGE)
A Google Labs experiment that we expect to be introduced widely next year is Google’s artificial intelligence answer to Bing’s Copilot.
Using generative AI, SGE scrapes the web to deliver its own version of an answer to a query. Our query for “is Santa Claus real” resulted in this SGE result:
At ROI Revolution, we’ve been testing SGE since it was first available in Labs. And we’ve watched it change again and again.
At first, it didn’t show its sources. Then, it showed them with links. At times, the links were embedded in the answer or shown below it. SEOs are concerned that SGE will be like Featured Snippets and result in even more zero-click searches. It also pushes organic results far below the fold, making capturing clicks even more difficult.
Many theorize that Google’s plan all along was to keep people on its platform without the need to click through to a website for information. While we prefer not to speculate, we see the opportunity to be a source of information for SGE with the hope of capturing that top-of-the-page SERP real estate.
Coming soon to your Google app and the mobile versions of Chrome and Safari, you’ll be able to choose to follow a topic.
The example Google used in its announcement is marathon training. If you regularly look up information related to marathon training, Google will show the option to follow that topic. Once you do, it gives Google permission to send you notifications when new, relevant information is available, such as races near you.
In the same post, Google announced that search results will become more personalized depending on your search history.
If you’ve shown interest in a topic and continue to return to the same website for answers, Google will be more likely to show that website at the top of the SERPs until you change your habits or change your personalization settings by clicking on the three dots next to the result.
Preparing for What’s to Come
While testing these new features, we’ve noticed three key things:
- Results are video- and image-heavy. Thanks to its natural language processors MUM and Bard, Google is able to understand videos and images. This gives it the ability to surface the ones it thinks might answer the question best.
- Experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EEAT) matter! Google is surfacing answers from lesser-known websites, answer sites like Quora and Reddit, and YouTube videos for Perspectives. When “About this result” is an option, Google is more likely to see a source as trustworthy the more material is available. Taking the time to develop EEAT within your site can show Google that you provide a valuable perspective.
- Helpful content is king! Websites that answer questions directly and comprehensively, no matter how big or small, will win with SGE. Google is looking for the best answers to pull from. We’ve noticed that often the sites sourced in an SGE result aren’t even listed in the top organic results. This fact gives hope to smaller sites out there.
Ready to Conquer Mobile SERPs?
Are you on the path to fulfilling your brand’s potential? The ROI Revolution SEO team helps take brands where they’re meant to go. To discover the heights you could reach with a guide to show you the way, book a meeting today.
- Google Blog, New ways to find just what you need on Search.
- Google Blog, Five new ways to verify info with Google Search.
- Google Labs, Try Google’s latest experiments in Labs.