Mobilegeddon has begun- But what is it?
Not so much a natural disaster, but rather a man-made seismic shift in the way websites are ranked, like the Godzilla of results pages that has, until recently, been lurking in the depths of digital, last week Google screamed ‘All Change’ for its algorithm. Here’s exactly what you need to know.
At Smoking Gun PR we’ve been banging on about the importance of getting mobile friendly for years. Put simply, this is the process of ensuring your website is built to a responsive design, which will react and resize to the device it is being viewed on, ensuring everything looks pretty irrespective of whether someone visits on an iPhone or iMac.
Up until recently this was really a case of preventing people leaving your website immediately because none of the pictures were correctly aligned, or they couldn’t be bothered to pinch and stretch the page in order to see the text correctly. Last year, research showed that 57% of mobile users would abandon a website within three seconds if it wasn’t optimised for mobile, and 30% would leave a purchase without completing the transaction if an online shopping cart wasn’t similarly made to suit mobile.
Consider the fact that 72% of all web pages served in the world are now being accessed by mobile and you realise how significant those losses can be.
With this in mind, it’s unsurprising that Google has finally taken steps to react to these figures, and bolster mobile’s position as the means of accessing internet content. Put simply, Mobilegeddon, as techies have nicknamed it, means the world’s number one search engine has altered its algorithm so now any website that has not been optimised for mobile will be ranked down as a result of failing to move with the times. And already the impact has been felt.
SearchEngineLand has already posted a fascinating blog based on data from Searchmetrics regarding the biggest winners and losers of Mobilegeddon so far. Some of the evidence is conflicting, indicative of how confusing stats can be, but it shouldn’t be ignored.
Huffington Post, for example, is both the biggest success story and biggest failure as a result of the changes because huffingtonpost.com is now redirecting to huffpost.com when accessed via mobile. Yet other aspects are more straightforward. Reddit, Vogue, NBC Sports and Bloomberg Business have all lost significantly in the battle for the rankings, and this is due to a mixture of non-optimised homepages, and failing to ensure every other page on the website is fit for mobile.
In terms of online activity, internet banking, downloading entertainment content, accessing news and reading digital newspapers have all seen significant growth in the last two years. Yet none of those are threatening to usurp the two most popular things to do online; communication- from social networking to sending and receiving emails (approximately 75% of all Britons with a connection will do this daily), and finding information about goods and services (73%).
Put simply, then, what any business owner needs to realise can be summarised as follows. The vast majority of people in the UK will use the internet to locate products you are selling. The vast majority of the world’s internet users use mobile to connect. And the vast majority also go to Google for search purposes. Google is no longer tolerating websites that haven’t adapted to these established trends, which means you can no longer afford to ignore the bandwagon.
Capiche or confused? Head to Google’s quick test to see how your site is performing in the context of Mobilegeddon: https://www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/