Just testing? Google shows clickable phone numbers on organic listings

Google’s always testing changes to search engine results pages (SERPs), but this one caught our interest.

First spotted by Texas-based SEO Ryan Schilling, Google is displaying clickable phone numbers in organic results on mobile devices.

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We’ve seen clickable phone numbers on AdWords ads, and on local search results, but never before on organic results.

Why should you care?

Let’s remember this is simply a test — it may never become the norm in Google’s mobile search results and, if it does, the day it does may be some time away yet.

Because this test may never see general release, we don’t want to indulge in idle conjecture. But we can see good reasons why Google is testing this feature.

Adding a clickable phone number will improve the mobile user experience, and we know that is key for Google. Mobile users who want to contact a business don’t necessarily want to go to a website first in order to find the phone number. Nor do they want to go to a website that renders poorly on mobile devices, and may not have a clickable phone number when they find it.

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he develops search strategies for SureFire clients and helps them make sense of their website data.