This week’s news – Google is testing infinite scroll in mobile search; India is creating a huge new market for data analytics; Websites should get ready for the mobile-first index

Categories Analytics News

Every week, we’re bringing you the latest news, trends and product launches taking place in the analytics industry.

Google is testing infinite scroll 

Google is testing infinite scroll search results pages in mobile search, seven years after the tech giant rolled out infinite scroll for images. According to Search Engine Journal, instead of showing the regular “Next” button, some users already see a “See more results” button. When pressed, it loads more results right on the page the users are viewing at that time, instead of sending them to a new page.

 

If this feature will be implemented, analysts, marketers and SEO specialists will have to reconsider their priorities when it comes to user experience and KPIs used to determine if the site is mobile-friendly or not, for search ranking. Since the normal users’ search habits indicate that if ‘you’re not on the first page, you don’t exist’, adding infinite scroll as a mobile feature for Google Search might change the perception a lot and bring in some extra motivation for sites to optimize their ranking scores.

 

However, it is not yet clear whether Google will implement this as a feature.

 

In the picture below, you can see the regular mobile search results, with the “Next” page on:

 

Image Source: Search Engine Journal

 

And in this picture, you can see how Google is testing the “See more results” option, getting rid of the “Next” button.

 

Image Source: Search Engine Journal

Websites should get ready for a New Ranking Order 

In the past year, everyone expected Google to give more indications about the imminent transition to the mobile-first index, which has already been announced a while back.

 

According to a study by Stone Temple Consulting, more than 55% of all traffic is coming from a mobile device, and the trend is continually increasing year on year.

 

Of course, desktop still has a large share of traffic, and its death is still far ahead of us, since 44% of traffic is still coming from desktop.

 

According to Search Engine Journal, Google is currently testing this approach and it has not yet been rolled out. The tech giant is most likely to implement it in the near future, which means analysts and marketers must ask themselves if their website is indeed ready for the switch to mobile-first index.

 

Google will begin indexing and ranking sites based on their mobile experience. Historically, this index was based on the desktop experience.

 

This means that, for sites that have the same user experience on both desktop and mobile, the switch to mobile-first index will not be harmful in any way, but rather keep the ranking same as before. However, if your mobile site is not optimized, or the experience is not as immersive as the desktop one, you might have to rethink the site, since it will most likely be negatively affected by the changes.

 

Search Engine Journal provided a couple of images to show the difference in user experience. Click here to check them out.

India is opening up a new market for data analytics

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially asked tax regulators to use data analytics to track undeclared wealth and set clear targets for improving tax administration by 2022.

 

Measures taken include cutting down physical interference between the taxpayers and officials to curb corruption, but also easier online filing of returns and refund claims, plus email-based inquiry and e-scrutiny, The Times of India reports.

 

India, a country of more than 1,3 billion people, has serious problems with tax evasion, since most of the tax collection process is psychical, and people have to fill in forms and hand them in tax offices in person. Human interaction cannot be objectively measured and mountains of files and forms are piling up. Prime Minister Modi’s  decision is a normal step towards the development of the country. However, the measure also has a ‘side effect’, since it’s creating a huge new market for data analytics.

 

According to The Economic Times, data analytics will be an effective tool in the hands of taxmen as demonetisation led to suspicious bank transactions in India. By adopting data analytics, tax officials will be able to raise red flags, while establishing linkages between people, their income and investments and their tax forms and payments. By using advanced tools to test both structured and unstructured data, tax regulators will be able to analyze and establish relationships between seemingly unrelated entities or people, based on different data-sets. They will be able to use anything from addresses, phone calls, social media interaction, travel trends and so on.

 

Sebastian is a journalist and digital strategist with years of experience in the news industry, social media, content creation & management and web analytics.


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