We’ve officially arrived at the mobile search tipping point. According to Google, more searches now take place on mobile devices than on computers in ten countries, including the United States. Since the majority of digital consumers are now searching for information about businesses, products, and services on their mobile devices, business owners need to ensure that their websites and other web properties are optimized for mobile devices to cater to mobile users.
Google is Increasingly Aligning Google Search with the Needs of Mobile Users
In November 2014, Google announced via its Webmaster Central Blog that it would start adding a “mobile-friendly” label to mobile search results to “make it easier for [mobile users] to find the information that they’re looking for”. According to Google, a web page is eligible for the mobile-friendly label if it meets the following criteria as detected by Googlebot:
- The web page avoids software that isn’t common on mobile devices (ex: Adobe Flash)
- The web page utilizes text that is readable without zooming
- The web page sizes content to the screen so that users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Links on the web page are appropriately spaced so that users always tap on the correct link
The announcement further stated that Google was experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal.
The following year, Google announced that starting on April 21, 2015, Google would be expanding its 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.” Google has made it very clear that the mobile-friendly update (which was subsequently dubbed “Mobilegeddon” and “Google Mice”) only affects search rankings on mobile devices and applies to individual web pages, not entire websites.
Fortunately, Google has given webmasters and entrepreneurs handy tools that will help them determine if their web pages/websites are deemed mobile-friendly by Googlebot. Webmasters and entrepreneurs who want to test some of their web pages can use the Mobile-Friendly Test, whereas those who want to test their websites can use their Webmaster Tools account to get a complete list of mobile usability issues using the Mobile Usability Report.
Google’s Mobile Search Results are Now Overwhelmingly Mobile-Friendly
Prior to the rollout of Google Mice, as much as 40% of all websites failed to meet Google’s mobile-friendly criteria. Though the update had the potential to drastically affect the mobile rankings of two out of five websites, the immediate impact of Google Mice’s rollout appeared to be insignificant.
While it’s clear that the immediate impact of Google Mice’s rollout wasn’t as severe as some predicted, some pundits say it’s because many webmasters and entrepreneurs heeded Google’s advice and invested in mobile-friendly or responsive web pages. Two months after announcing Google Mice’s rollout, the tech giant noted a 4.7% uptick in the proportion of sites deemed mobile-friendly, with Google “[hoping] to see even more in the coming months.”
More recent studies indicate that 83% of the time, the top result on Google Search is tagged as mobile-friendly, and the top three results are tagged as mobile-friendly 81% of the time. Meanwhile, for the top ten positions on the first page of Google’s mobile search results, an astonishing 77% of search results are considered to be mobile-friendly.
Go Mobile-Friendly or Watch Google Mice Chew Your Mobile Rankings
It is clear from these and other studies that Google is reducing the rankings of websites deemed non-mobile-friendly on its mobile search results. If your business website and other web properties fail to meet Google’s mobile-friendly criteria, their rankings on the mobile search engine results pages (SERPs) will be downgraded significantly.
Imagine a scenario in which your website and other web properties get pushed to pages 10, 20, or even 50—if not entirely disappear from Google’s mobile SERPs. Think of the catastrophic impact this would have on your traffic, conversions, sales, and revenue. Make no mistake: most of your competitors have upgraded their business websites to make it mobile-friendly.
Even if you offer the best services and products to your target market, or have a well-established client base, if your website and other web properties disappear from Google’s mobile search results, all the traffic, conversions, sales, and revenues that should have gone to you will instead go to your competitors. By failing to act in time by upgrading your website, you are essentially giving your competitors free business.
You’re great at what you do (and your customers know it). However, you probably don’t have the expertise that is needed to upgrade your website to mobile-friendly status.
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We offer our clients professional web design services that reflect their branding. Our web design services strive to be user-friendly, SEO-friendly, content-driven, and just as importantly, mobile-friendly.
We’ll upgrade your website so that it adjusts and displays seamlessly across an array of devices, helping you target potential and existing clients who’re using desktop computers, mobile devices, tablets, and other devices.
Send us an email now or call us so we can schedule a free consultation with you today.