Tuesday, April 21, 2015 is the big day, and I sincerely hope your business (big or small) was not one to ignore Google’s warning about the impending drop in search rankings for web pages that are not mobile friendly. If your website is not mobile friendly, the Google Smack Down is about to cause you/your business considerable pain.
What Is The Google Mobile-Friendly Update?
For this answer, we highlight a couple sentences from Google’s Webmaster Central Blog:
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.
Basically, Google is updating their search algorithms to include the mobile-friendliness of a web page as a significant rankings factor (on mobile searches). So, if your web-pages aren’t responsive or mobile compliant via Google’s guidelines, then expect your search rankings to drop on mobile searches.
What Does Mobile-Friendly Mean?
A mobile-friendly website is one that displays correctly on modern hand-held devices such as smartphones (Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, etc.) and tablets (iPad, Surface, etc.). The content loads quickly and is easily readable on a mobile device (i.e. no zooming is required).
Why You Should Care
Recent smartphone data released by comScore shows 76.7% mobile market penetration in the United States:
186.3 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (76.6 percent mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in February, up 5 percent since November.
In addition to the above stats, consider the following:
- In 2014, US adults spent an average of 2 hours, 51 minutes on their mobile devices each day.
- In the final quarter of 2014, just under 30 percent of all online searches were made on mobile devices. That’s about 18.5 billion searches.
- Mobile search advertising is expected to reach $28.72 billion in 2015
- Mobile search will be 50% of the search market in 2015
- By 2019, mobile ad spending is projected to rise to $65.87 billion, or 72.2% of total digital ad spend.
By now, the value of a mobile-friendly website should be very obvious. If your business has any reliance on web traffic generated from Google search, your business simply will not thrive without a mobile-friendly or responsive website.