Mobile, mobile, mobile… The exaggerated emphasis on the influence of smartphones in today’s society is old news. It is even highly likely you are reading this right now from your mobile phone. Although a few lonely champions of the desktop remain loyal to the big-screen, the realm of business is quickly adapting to pocket-laptops…and now, the most popular search engine worldwide has made a definitive chessboard move that may transform those dusty desktops into a monument of the past.
2015 marked the year of Google’s Mobile-Friendly update. The concept was simple: websites that weren’t optimized for mobile device interaction would be penalized, and ranked lower in Google mobile searches results than websites that were built to be responsive. The update garnered the term “Mobilegeddon” aka the end of all websites not optimized for mobile. Cries from business owners in all realms were heard vocally (and on Internet forums) across the world. The big-dog of the tech industry had gone and caused quite an uproar…knowing full well the rest of the world would have no choice but to modernize to adapt with them. Optimize your website for mobile, or people may never find you in search results at all. April, 2015 marked a distinct and definitive cultural shift in the mentality behind smartphones.
It was no longer just a fad – it was the future. The rise of mobile search had begun…And it wasn’t going to stop there.
Fast forward to 2018: the era of mobile search. Over half of all internet searches are now completed using a mobile device, with 95% of those stemming from Google. It’s quite clear that giving up the throne as leader of the free-online-search world is not a viable option for the virtual monopoly that Google has become. Their corporate profits are directly related to their ownership of everything internet search. So, what do you do when you’ve got to stay on top of an incredibly competitive technology sector like internet search? What you do, of course, is you keep changing things up so your competitors can’t get their feet under them long enough to de-throne you.
After three years of updating, tweaking, overhauling, and analyzing the vast kingdom of data surrounding consumer smartphone use, Google has finally implemented perhaps its most groundbreaking SEO strategy yet: the Mobile-First Index. From here on out, search-rankings will be based entirely on the mobile version of a page. If this is Greek to you, let’s break it down. Previously, if you searched from a smartphone, Google used a mobile index to gather your results, and inversely, if you searched from a desktop, Google used a desktop index to gather your results. This made it possible for both desktop and mobile internet use to coexist in two separate realms, each supplementing the other, based on the user-device. No longer! Google will now operate with an entirely mobile index, meaning if your desktop site hasn’t been built to be alternately used on a phone, tablet and laptop…you, and your search rankings are in big trouble. This also keeps digital marketers busy trying to comply with changing algorithms and related website design requirements. All this activity means that businesses that rely on search results must constantly refresh their digital marketing tools or get left behind.
Businesses and organizations with websites that already utilize responsive design, smartphone apps, and mobile-optimized websites will most likely remain unharmed, and at the top of the search rankings Google spews out. You who are keeping pace with the constantly changing digital marketing world will keep getting that sweet, sweet foot traffic to your website that we all want and love. But, if you are behind when it comes to adapting your website for the mobile phone…it’s time to modernize, and fast. We know this tide of information and technological change is overwhelming, and may often leave you despairing about what’s next, but here is the truth: mobile SEO is the present and the future (so far), and it’s not going away (until it’s replaced with whatever’s next). Google’s conclusive maneuver will now weed out companies that aren’t on board the mobile-optimized bandwagon. Let’s make sure that those companies aren’t you.
GET IN TOUCH if you need to prepare your site for Mobilegeddon!