Mobile compatibility may have been optional in the past, but Google is doing their best to ensure that all websites be optimized with mobile-friendliness in mind.
Google is at it again — the Sultan of Search has declared war on all websites that are not optimized for mobile.
In a recent announcement designed to alter the way users find information, Google has elected to change their search algorithm to give mobile-friendly sites priority when searched for on mobile devices. The switch makes sense on paper, but not everyone is thrilled about the update.
This change is providing a benefit to those sites that have mobile compatibility — that is, whose sites respond to changes in screen orientation, automatically scale to differently sized devices and include text large enough to be seen on small screens.
Mobile is the way of the future when it comes to online shopping, with more people doing their purchasing research on location instead of the comfort of their homes. This is great news for sites with ingenuity enough to recognize the trend and be on top of mobile optimization, but sites that are slow off the block on updating their pages may suffer when update time rolls around.
Going With Google
Google’s meteoric rise is hard to overstate. There were over two trillion searches made by Google in 2014, a rise from the 3.6 million done by the company in its inaugural year.
(Chart from: http://www.statisticbrain.com/Google-searches/)
Arguing about Google’s importance in the landscape of Internet culture is a hard sell. One great illustration of this is eBay, which many are familiar with as an online purveyor of new and used goods. While eBay has a market share that can stand against any brick and mortar business on earth, they lost nearly 80 percent of their organic search rankings and traffic during Google’s last update, according to search and marketing firm WordStream. With this in mind, it’s clear that any business, whether online or with a physical location, can benefit from going along with Google’s flow.
(Chart from: http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/05/21/panda-4)
Benefits of Mobile Use
A quick look at the benefits of going mobile highlights why mobile Internet use has eclipsed desktop browsing. Information presented in formats designed for mobile is quick, digestible and easily scanned. Having mobile compatibility can foster faith in a company that is in tune with the needs of its user base, along with displaying competency in recognizing trends and adaptation.
Preparing for the Shift
So, how can you prepare yourself for Google’s inevitable salvo against the desktop-only businesses of the world? Having a mobile version of your site may not be enough if the site isn’t well designed. Consider the following when deciding if your site is properly optimized:
- Is the text on your page readable on small screens?
- Are links easy to click without having to zoom?
- Does the orientation of your site shift when viewing in portrait and landscape?
- Do the dimensions of your site scale to differently sized devices?
- If your site meets all of the above qualifications, you’re on the right track to avoiding the punishment of Google and bringing in viewers to boost your traffic.
Google is changing the game by requiring mobile compatibility, but this shift can be seen as an advantage rather an inconvenience. Not every business out there will properly prepare their site for the shift, creating a market for prepared businesses to fill. By staying ahead of the trend with proper mobile optimization and content developed specifically for your mobile users, you can take advantage of Google’s trends and successfully rise to the top.
How has the shift to mobile use impacted your business? Let us know in the comments below!