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Update to the presentation of URLs in mobile search

Mobile search continues to be at the forefront of the digital hemisphere, as Google updates the algorithms that display URLs in the search results.

Google announced changes on April 16 aimed at helping improve organic listings for users searching from a mobile device – specifically addressing the way the URL element of a listing is presented. This update is rolling out over the coming weeks and falls ahead of the more serious mobile-friendly update, aimed at improving user experience by devaluing websites that are not mobile-friendly (we covered this in more depth here and here).


These changes mean that instead of URLs being displayed, the real-world name of the website is displayed i.e 3WhiteHats, as opposed to www.3whitehats.com alongside a breadcrumb trail URL as shown below, left (before) right (after):

 

URL_presentation_update1
Source: Google

 

 

To take advantage of this update you (or your developers) will need to implement breadcrumb structured data as described in depth here. The most popular CMS such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Magento all have plugins (or extensions) that allow you to implement breadcrumbs easily.

Specifying the real-world business name is a little trickier and not covered by all plugins, though I’m sure they are making the changes as we speak. To benefit from this update a small piece of script conforming to schema.org, specifying the site-name, needs to be included within each page. Google have provided a good example here. At present, amending the site name is only available to US websites and this is expected to roll out over the coming weeks, whereas the breadcrumbs modification is worldwide.

Will this update have a big impact on your mobile search reports, do you think allowing webmasters to ‘choose’ their name will lead to abuse and more importantly will it stick? Do get in touch, we’d love to hear your thoughts!