We are getting close to the big day. Tax day! No! Well, yes, technically, but that’s not the big day I’m talking about. April 21 marks the day that Google’s Mobile-Friendly update will take effect. Fear, bordering on panic is starting to overcome business owners who rely on search results and website conversions to drive their revenue. But will the impending “mobilegeddon” spell impending doom for your bottom line? Will Google’s mobile-friendly shift wreck the Internet in the manner that only Kim Kardashian’s posterior could? Not only does logic tell us “no”, but Google’s actions may be good for the Internet and may make us better website designers.
To understand why the Internet will not begin to fall apart on April 21, we must first understand why Google is making a mobile-friendly update in the first place. The primary factor is obvious, more people are using mobile phones to access the Internet and, subsequently, Google. Mobile traffic makes up nearly 60 percent of all web traffic, according to a 2014 comScore report. Secondly, this shift in consumer behavior can prove valuable to Google and its advertisers. According to a survey from Search Engine Watch, nearly 80 percent of local mobile phone searches lead to a purchase. That’s an important statistic, especially when it comes to advertising. With so many people searching on mobile, the accuracy of the results are critical.
However, not everybody is on board with “mobile friendly.” Critics have noted that customer behavior, specifically in the business to business sector, tends towards the more detailed searches that you’d see on desktop computers. They feel that an investment in producing a mobile-friendly site may not be as valuable for those who connect with customers in more traditional ways. Also, it has been noted that if adaption of Google’s mobile friendly mandate is slower than anticipated, that the quality of search results may actually suffer. For example, the content from mobile friendly sites for a particular subject could be weaker than content from a company with a non-mobile friendly site. Unless, the non-mobile friendly site has real authority in that area, it will rank behind the mobile-friendly site.
While these arguments are valid, we know that the rate of mobile usage rises with each passing year and the percentage of mobile search rises as well. Over time, it’s reasonable to believe that mobile search and mobile Internet use will permeate sectors, like business to business, where they aren’t currently as strong.
Absolute Marketing Solutions president Alfred Goldberg puts it this way, “Google’s value is based off delivering the highest quality and most relevant results to customer searches. As more and more people search via mobile, their expectations are that the sites they find will meet their needs. Non-mobile sites score low in quality. As we work to adhere to Google’s standards, we are improving our own sites and providing a better experience for all customers.”
So “mobilegeddon” can be good for business? Sure! It just has be handled swiftly and correctly. Here are a couple items that should put your mind at ease:
- Google’s mobile friendly update only applies to searches on mobile smart phone devices, not desktop or tablets.
- The mobile friendly algorithm is on a page by page basis. If budget is a consideration, optimize your most important pages first.
If your website is not mobile-friendly, we can help. Contact us for a free consultation and our award-winning design team can help you keep pace with this growing trend.