That pesky Google. The application with whom we have a love-hate relationship but frankly can’t live without, has done it again. They’ve changed their dreaded algorithms. I generally try to ignore these changes since they’re only going to change them again, right? But this most recent change has serious implications for those whose websites are not mobile friendly.
Mobile search is growing at a stunning rate: 60% of users are accessing information on mobile
If you’ve been enjoying a nice respite in Sleepy Hollow, you may not realize that people are accessing everything on their phones. Usage has gone up at an alarming rate. In 2014, data revealed that 30 percent of all searches came from a mobile device, while the most recent 2015 data shows that this has increased to more than 60 percent. Mobile search is growing at 10x the rate of desktop search.
Not optimized for mobile: lose 1/3 of traffic
Apparently this is one of the biggest changes to the Google algorithm in years, so it’s one to take seriously. Especially if your sites is not optimized for mobile. The prediction: Businesses that don’t have mobile-ready sites stand to lose up to a third of their traffic. Since more than two thirds of Fortune 100 companies are not considered mobile friendly, this is going to have a big impact.
So how is the algorithm going to test for mobile?
The algorithm will scan each page on the site, checking for things like load times, design elements and mobile best practices. For now searches on tablets won’t be affected, but this is likely to be in the pipeline – so it’s worth getting ahead of this change. Things it will be looking for:
- Text sizes that are readable without zooming (Think big. I love this one. There’s been a trend that’s designer-based where everything is restrained/constrained and tiny. Looks sophisticated. The reality is that you can’t read it. I’m a function over form person and this makes me crazy! Isn’t this supposed to be about communication?)
- Content that fits the screen so scrolling isn’t necessary
- If you’re still using Flash you’re in trouble.
If you’re a business that’s been proactive about optimizing for mobile, you’ll benefit from improved mobile SEO over your competitors who are lagging behind. On the other hand, if you are lagging behind on mobile but have a great desktop site, your ranking on the latter will remain unaffected.
The bottom line: If your site is not mobile-enabled, it’s time for a new website
However, it’s to the benefit of all businesses to get up to speed with mobile and make sure your site delivers a positive user experience. Consumers will abandon you site if it’s too difficult to navigate on their mobile devices. Count on this. There are too many other choices out there.
Looking at your website on your mobile device and not liking what you see? There are new platforms that make upgrading your website streamlined, easy and cost effective.