The Morning after Mobilegeddon
If you're wondering what Mobilegeddon is, excuse me if I wonder how long you've been on a drunken bender for. Don't worry, I've got the perfect thing for you.
Now you've had that, let's get to it. Mobilegeddon was an update to Google's search engine scheduled to start going live 21 April 2015. Put simply, its purpose was to prioritise mobile friendly sites over non-mobile friendly sites for people searching from mobile devices. With more than 60% of all internet traffic now coming from mobile devices, it's more important than ever to half a good internet experience. Google places such importance upon this that they've updated their search engine to ensure that this happens.
Did anyone really pay attention? In the 2 months prior to 21 April, 4.7% more websites became mobile friendly. Like the author of that article, Barry Schwartz, I'm surprised that more people didn't ensure that they'd be compliant. This is Google after all, everything they do is worth paying attention to, just ask Demand Media. Despite all the publicity, despite it being known about for many months, even US Fortune 500 companies didn't prepare accordingly, with more than 40% still having mobile unfriendly sites by 21 April. Did they think it wouldn't have an effect? Did they not care enough to allocate proper resources to getting it done? Maybe it's just because it's technology, and people who grew up with rotary diallers just don't get it.
While they were busy preparing mission statements, the world changed around them. Here are some headlines from the USA featuring how much a website's mobile ranking fell and how it now relates to their desktop ranking:
- NBC Sports -28% and -40%
- WalmartStores -31% and -31%
- FT -25% and -42%
- TheFiscalTimes -71% and -81%
Oh, and it isn't just a losers game either, lets look at some of the gains:
- Eurogamer +26% and +49%
- MixCloud +56 and +89%
- ForeignAffairs +771% and +37%
- NewMexicoCriminalLaw +4012% and +30%
Remember, this is a worldwide update, so it'll affect how Google's search engine finds sites everywhere it's used, irrespective of language.
If you track visits to your site and you aren't noticing a drop-off, then good for you. However, don't presume that just because it's true now that it's going to be true tomorrow. The update may not have completely 'taken' yet. Also, any of your competitors who had a mobile friendly site is instantly in better shape the morning after the night before. The same applies if they've decided to bite the bullet and go mobile friendly post-Mobilegeddon. In this scenario you risk being left behind. You risk your competitors being easier to find than you simply through inaction.
On the other hand, if your competition hasn't gone mobile friendly, then this is your chance to take a leap ahead. This is your chance to make your website more discoverable than theirs. If you're an independent person, like me, then you need to make use of everything you can to keep ahead. At the very least, you need to keep pace with everyone else around you, or risk getting left in the dust.
Think of this as a great opportunity to ensure that you're bang up-to-date. You'll be doing something that some of the biggest companies in the world haven't done. It's also a chance to do some spring cleaning. Maybe your website looks a little long in the tooth. Maybe it has a narrow design, when the trend is for wide sites. Maybe it has a cluttered interface, when the trend is for minimal interfaces. Maybe it just doesn't do everything you need it to anymore. Whatever the case, you have the chance to kill 2 birds with one stone: go mobile friendly and get a fresh design. Get in touch with me to give your online presence a great spring clean so that you're leaving others in the dust, not being left in the dust.
How have you adjusted to Mobilegeddon? Are you seeing traffic drop-offs? Have you got your site(s) up-to-date yet? You can let me know in the comments.