Mobilegeddon: What is it?
Like it or not, the internet’s most popular search engine, Google, wields the biggest influence on what we find on the web.
Google’s announcement in early 2015, that it was to adapt to the increasing number of people using mobile devices to search online by pushing non-mobile-friendly sites further down its page rankings, was released with much noise being made about how the move would see small businesses disappear from Google’s pages almost overnight.
So how true is this? Well, despite some who say that this is Google taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut, the fact remains that it is a very sizeable nut and is getting bigger by the day.
A recent report announced that, by 2018, 90% of the New Zealand population would be using smartphones. Already, some 60% of us use a smart device to initially access the web, so it’s easy to see that Google would be foolish not to embrace this and alter their strategy.
Whereas some small businesses will see this as an unnecessary expense, “I’ve just forked out for a website in the last couple of years, why should I now have to do this?”, others will see it as a further marketing opportunity. We see and tell our customers that a website is not a one-off cost, it should be treated as a marketing/sales person on staff; to make your website really works for your business you should dedicate both time and money ongoing to keep it up-to-date and keep adding content to it.
Ask Inbox Design how we can help keep your website regularly updated, along with our social media services.
If more and more people are accessing information in this way, the implication would be that internet sales will increase and even non-internet sales will also have been generated by information initially found on-line via a smartphone or tablet.
What if a business doesn’t want to embrace this change? Well, it’s analogous to the old saying that “today’s newspaper is tomorrow’s fish and chip wrapper”. Eventually, and probably quite quickly, businesses could see their non-mobile-friendly sites disappear from the web or at the very least be almost impossible to find.
So, what does Google deem to be “mobile-friendly”?
The rules are being implemented to reward webpages that make it easy to view content on smartphones and tablets. Text that’s easily read on a smartphone and links that are placed far enough apart to be easily clicked on touchscreens are just two of the things that Google’s bots will pick up on. Companies who don’t comply, regardless of their size, could see their web traffic disappear very rapidly.
Chief Product Officer of Worldpay eCommerce Kevin Dallas said: “This move by Google should send a message to companies whose websites are poorly configured for smartphone users, that optimising for mobile is no longer a matter of choice.
“With the number of smartphone users only set to grow, businesses simply can’t afford to become invisible to mobile consumers.
Noreen McCaffrey, of marketing solutions company Somo, added: "This move further highlights the need to focus on what users experience when searching for your company on-the-go.
"While some brands think apps alone are enough to tick the 'mobile' box in terms of best mobile user experience, Google doesn't.
"As a result, these companies are about to see their mobile traffic declining."
Noreen McCaffrey, Somo
So, perhaps you have a website you’re more than happy with. It looks great and does what you’d set it out to do. The fact is, unless it not only also looks great on smaller devices but is also very functional on these devices, all the effort you went to in the first place will be worth absolutely nothing to your business.
At Inbox Design, we specialise in creating superb, modern, responsive (i.e. functional regardless of device size) websites and apps which not only you will be more than happy with, we’d guarantee that Google will be too.