April 21st 2015 hails a monumental step for mobile communications. A sophisticated algorithm will be released into cyberspace that prioritises search listings based on mobile optimisation. And in plain English? Unless your site has be designed to offer a great user experience for people visiting it on a smartphone, then you’ll go to the bottom of the pile. It won’t matter if your company fits the search criteria best, is the closest, has received the best feedback, is the biggest, fastest, strongest – even if it’s in the Forbes 500 (as 44% of those failed the test too) – it simply won’t get a look in.
Fitting then, that leading the mobile charge is the world’s most popular search engine. Google is so popular it experiences 1,100,000,000 monthly visits and even has a verb in its honour. And as of 21st April, when someone decides to ‘Google it’ the listings will have been pre-tested to show mobile users sites that will actually work on their phones.
Since when did mobile become such a behemoth? Cisco’s Visual Networking Index has some stark statistcs: in 2014, mobile traffic was nearly 30 times the size of the entire global internet in 2000 and almost half a billion mobile devices and connections were added last year. According to the Global Web Index, 80% of web users own a smartphone, half of all searches are performed on mobile devices and 60% of users report that they are unlikely to return to a site that isn’t mobile optimised. Google’s algorithm is, therefore, the service’s own attempt to follow the market and keep its customer base happy. It is a business after all.
So what should other businesses be doing to keep up? It could be argued that if the brand is well known then this change in search engine listings will have little effect. Certainly, the Forbes 500 companies that fall foul of the mobile-friendly criteria are unlikely to have too much to worry about. For the rest of us, it makes good business sense to ensure the website is mobile friendly, regardless of Google’s launch. Mobile friendly sites render different layouts depending on the size of the browser screen. To do this, responsive design helps the content to adapt, automatically changing the number of columns displayed, scaling images to the appropriate size and enabling the menu to work differently according the device. That’s not all, the site will be configured differently so the user has a simple, efficient experience even if they’re on a small screen in a rush-hour commute.
The mobile revolution has already happened, Google’s algorithm is simply forcing companies to acknowledge it and embrace a growing business opportunity. Don’t get left behind and don’t miss out on premium search engine results. It’s time to give Fresh01 a call.