Google will show different search results to mobile and desktop users in the coming months


At the moment it does not matter whether you perform a Google search from your phone or from your computer; you'll see the same results. But in a few months this is set to change. The company is set to launch a new mobile search index that will be more up to date than the desktop index.

The news came at Pubcon, a social media and optimization conference, via Google's trends analyst Gary Illyes. It was an idea that was floated last year, and after a little experimentation, Google is almost ready to launch the new search index.

Although Illyes did not give an indication of exactly when the mobile index will launch in his conference speech, he later spoke with Search Engine Land and said that it would be within "months". It means that mobile and desktop searchers will end up seeing different results.

Google is not just launching the mobile search index to run alongside its desktop index, it will become the primary index. While Google is clearly placing a great deal of focus on mobile traffic here, quite what the implications are for websites is not yet clear. While it could certainly be argued that people searching from their mobiles need the most up to date information, desktop searchers may well feel they're getting a raw deal by being delivered results from an index that is less up to date.

As is often the case when news like this creeps out of a conference, details are a little thin on the ground, meaning things are very much open to speculation. It's not clear whether the mobile index will only return results that are deemed mobile-friendly, or just what the update frequency for the two indices will be. All should become cleared in the next few months.

Photo credit: Sean Locke Photography / Shutterstock

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