Tuesday, April 14, 2015

One Last Warning: Optimize Your Website for Mobile Now!

Folks, the time draws nigh! As we reported last month, Google will soon improve the mobile experience for users worldwide. As Google reported on its webmaster 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. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices."

The "significance" of this improvement cannot be overstated. In an incredibly thorough primer, Cindy Krum at The Moz Blog, predicts that Google will introduce a new mobile-only index and crawler. This means that mobile and desktop rankings might be appreciably different. it also means that a website's ranking in one will not necessarily effect its ranking in the other.

A good desktop ranking, however, is no excuse to ignore your mobile ranking. This should be obvious. We've covered the emergence of mobile SEO quite extensively, citing many facts and stats to confirm the viability of mobile SEO. Perhaps the only statistic you need to know, though, is the simplest: mobile search now exceeds desktop search.

According to comScore, this change happened at least as early as August, 2014, and perhaps before. "The days of desktop dominance are over," the report announced. "Mobile has swiftly risen to become the leading digital platform, with total activity on smartphones and tablets accounting for an astounding 60 percent of digital media time spent in the U.S."

According to comScore, Sometime around August, 2014, mobile exceeded desktop search.

The graph above illustrates mobile's ascent quite elegantly. One can only assume that mobile search will continue to rise even as desktop search remains stagnant. The only question is: How much of the search share will mobile occupy?

There will always be s certain percentage of people who will use desktop search--desktops and laptops are still the mainstay of most businesses and on most college campuses. Yet it's important to remember, nearly everyone who works on a desktop/laptop has a smart phone at his/her side.

Mobile's ascendancy is likely due to its convenience, a fact that can be observed on any pedestrian street, and, unsettlingly, on any highway in America. One only needs to glance aside to see another person looking down to his or her phone.

Most people would probably agree: all things considered, the desktop search experience is better. With Google's new changes poised to change mobile browsing for the better, however, one can easily envision a scenario where mobile search becomes the preferred choice--convenience or not.

So have you optimized your website for mobile? A negative answer is essentially tantamount to throwing away money. Then again, we could say the same thing for a negative answer to the question, "Have your optimized your website at all?" And yet, business owners continue to neglect the crucial practice of website optimization. Why?

To prepare you for the upcoming change, we suggest spending a little time with the following articles:

For experts: "9 Things You Need to Know About Google's Mobile-Friendly Update"

For everyone else: "Google is Making "Mobile-Friendliness" a Ranking Signal: Are You Optimized?"

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