On April 21st, Google updated its search algorithm to factor in mobile friendliness for mobile searches. Pages that are easy to view on smartphones will find their rankings boosted. Prior to its launch, popular SEO opinion swung like a pendulum, the update was either going to demolish rankings as we know them or be completely inconsequential. In the weeks since, most webmasters have noticed changes but the update hasn’t laid apocalyptic waste to the search landscape as the nickname #mobilegeddon suggests.
In 2014 we passed the tipping point, more than half of Internet traffic now comes from mobile devices and tablets. The update is aimed squarely at addressing the search engine experience of a significant number of Google’s users.
A recent Pew Research Study even shows that 7% of Americans rely heavily on their smartphone for internet access, citing limited other options for going online.
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Given this data, regardless of the Google update, if your site isn’t optimized for mobile you are completely sabotaging the user experience of a potential majority of your site’s visitors. Mobile is no longer the second screen, it is the first screen.
Return on experience is the driving factor in a customer’s satisfaction with your brand. Consumers return to products they feel good about interacting with, that provide intrinsic, lasting value. Forget Google, make your site mobile friendly for the all important return on experience. There are no indications the bubble will ever burst on mobile, year after year devices continue to improve and become more woven into our day to day lives.
If the majority of your site’s traffic is from desktop users, then you remain unaffected by the update (highly unlikely given mobile accounts for 60% of traffic). Your site will continue to rank where it always has in desktop searches, the update only applies to mobile searches. That being said, be prepared for your online user experience to go the way of the Dodo bird and Blockbuster.
Still Wondering If Your Site Is Mobile Friendly? Here’s 5 DIY Ways to Test It Yourself
1. Try the Google Mobile testing tool
2. Look at your Google Analytics data. If you are finding surprisingly large bounce rates or low page time specifically on mobile related devices this is likely a great early warning sign
3. Consider doing a User Experience Audit. We’ve found doing a quick and inexpensive user audit can reveal fast tweaks to instantly improve your mobile user experience.