"Optimize for mobile or you will be left out by Google"... here is what was claimed in the conversation between Danny Sullivan (founding editor of Search Engine Land) and Matt Cutts (the head of Google's Webspam team) at SMX Advanced. Get the full story here.
This assertion replies to the question "My hotel (or whatever the business) already has a Mobile Application, shall I invest in a Mobile-Optimized Website?"
Since recently, Google indeed seems to index Mobile-Optimized Websites better than Standard-Optimized Websites on both Google Search and Maps results.
At Oneglobe Network we focused on the question, and analysed the results displayed with the terms "Boutique Hotel Paris":
- a large majority of Google Maps results are Mobile-Optimized Hotel Websites
- the search engine on the mobile phone tends to display Mobile-Optimized Hotel Websites
The analysis was carried out on Safari from both a laptop and a mobile phone.
On the laptop...
On the laptop, the search results were obtained while disconnected from all Google accounts, so as not to influence the results through personalized search.
The results we got are the following:
- no hotel website were displayed among the search results, only third-party sites were listed
- hotel websites were displayed on Google Maps results
Among the Google Maps results, 9 hotels out of 10 had a Mobile-Optimized Website.
On the mobile phone...
On the mobile phone, the results were obtained while connected on Google accounts, personalized search was therefore activated.
The result is that we got a hotel website displayed as a personalized result. And the latter was Mobile-Optimized. So, among all the parisian hotels' websites visited in the past, the one displayed by Google is a Mobile-Optimized Website. The other results displayed were third-party sites.
As a result, it can be assumed that Google Maps seems to strongly favor Mobile-Optimized Websites. This is an important fact that independent hotels should consider, insofar as Google Maps is the only chance for them to compete (in terms of online visibility) with third-party sites.
Find more about this analysis and about mobile optimization in the presentation below: