Mobilegeddon

in Musings

‘Mobilegeddon’ has been all over the news this week, with everyone and his dog alerting us to the change in Google’s searching algorithms that will favour mobile-friendly websites. Well, never one to miss a bandwagon, here are my observations on the subject. 

Observation 1: the change only affects searches done on mobiles

Given the scale of the coverage, it would be easy to think that Google’s changes will affect all searches. That is not the case. It is only searches done on mobiles. It means if you search for something on a desktop you may see different results to if you search for the same thing on a mobile.

Observation 2: your website might not be affected (part one)

Find out if your website is mobile-friendly

To see if Google considers your website to be mobile-friendly, use this free Google tool. If your website is mobile friendly, panic over. (As a VERY basic rule of thumb, if your website is fairly new, it’s more likely to be mobile friendly than if it’s more than a few years old.)

If it isn’t mobile friendly, you need to find one more thing out.

Observation 3: your website might not be affected (part two)

Find out what percentage of your traffic comes via mobiles

This will help you start to understand how important the change is to you. You can get this information from your Google Analytics reports. If you don’t have access to these, ask your web manager.

I manage websites where the percentage of mobile traffic ranges from less than 1% to nearly 20%.

I’d argue that the sites where the search traffic is less than 1% probably don’t need to be concerned at the moment. On the other hand, if the traffic is nearly 20%, that makes it a much bigger issue.

Observation 4: the bigger picture

But even if your mobile traffic is low, it’s something you do need to monitor because internet usage is slowly but surely shifting away from the traditional desktop PC to mobile devices (there are some interesting stats in this report). It’s also worth considering whether making your website mobile-friendly is something you ought to be doing as part of a wider business policy of staying up-to-date with modern technologies and keeping abreast of current trends. In the same way as having a website went from ‘nice-to-have’ to ‘must-have’, so it may be that having a mobile-friendly website follows the same path.

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly but you think it ought to be, please give me a call. I don’t design websites myself, but I do work with several companies who do. I’d be happy to help you find the one that’s right for you.

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