The long wait is finally over, and the rumours can be put to bed once and for all, for the prophecies have come true; 2015 really is the year of the mobile, as Google finally announce that their mobile-friendly algorithm update will be live from April 21st.
Whilst we’ve advised all of our clients about the SEO benefits of making a responsive website (quite rightfully), over the last few years, Google are now making responsive web design a necessity as they push to create the best, most user friendly experience their search engine can offer!
As a consequence, websites that are not responsive in design will be punished and lose organic search result rankings if they do not make their website adaptable to both tablet and mobile browsing.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise as the facts and figures tell their own story. Mobile and tablet browsing constitutes 31% and 7% of the total market respectively, with PC browsing taking up 62%. This may not sound like a comparatively large amount, but when you consider that year upon year mobile browsing is making massive strides at a 39% increase, with tablet at 17% and PC browsing losing out by -13%, you start to see the bigger picture.*
People demand that their website, their media and their tools are available to them wherever they are and whatever they are doing, and we need only look at the growing digital spend on mobile marketing to see how the digital sector has already adapted for mobile browsing.
How Will Google’s Mobile Friendly Algorithm Update Affect The User?
It’s quite simple; those who do not update their web design will drastically fall out of favour on search results for users using mobile or tablets, which at some estimates constitutes 60% of the eCommerce market.
It is unclear whether this will also affect organic search results for desktop browsing, however Google’s other metrics for ranking such as visitor stats will certainly diminish, and those sites lagging behind will find that backlinks will surely dry up rather rapidly.
Regarding how it evaluates websites, Google have said that their approach will be binary and page by page. Each page will be indexed as either ‘mobile friendly’, or ‘not mobile friendly’, and there won’t be any grades of friendliness that might help rankings. Rather ominously the lesson to take away from this is you either pass or you don’t, and if you don’t, you’re going to lose out in a big way!
If you’re worried about whether your website is up to scratch, get in touch with Spot Studio for a review and report on your current web design. It could save you a real headache down the road!
*There are statistics according to a We Are Social report released in January 2015, the detailts of which can be found here: http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2015/01/21/2015-worldwide-internet-mobile-social-media-trends-get-376-pages-data/