This month saw an almost unprecedented move by Google. They forewarned website owners of an imminent change in their algorithm affecting mobile search.
What they were saying is that if your website doesn’t pass the mobile friendly test then your site will be demoted in the mobile search results.
They have been so upfront about this move that they have even been sending messages via Webmaster Tools to notify site owners;
“Google systems have tested XXX pages from your site and found that XX% of them have critical mobile usability errors. The errors on these XXX pages severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website. These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.”
For those with a mobile-friendly Website this is great news, but for those without, it means they have to weigh up the benefits of investing in a new website – or miss out on valuable mobile rankings.
Understanding how important this change is to you, can only be measured by having analytics set up correctly with meaningful goals, then knowing how to interpret the results.
Can you honestly say how much traffic you are currently getting from mobile search as a percentage of all traffic, and how important mobile traffic is to your conversions?
Without this data, you are not in a position to know whether to invest in a responsive Website design. Right now, for you, it might not be necessary, equally it may be essential.
Once again it feels like the tail is wagging the dog. Why should a behemoth like Google, decide what we as SME businesses have to invest in.
Of course, I understand the benefit to the user, but surely the user should decide if they want to look at content on a non-mobile friendly site or not. Should Google just stick to the task of presenting the right content to the right user at the right time?
The pace of this industry is relentless; fashions come and go – devices and technology change daily. What we use and how we search the internet will be completely different in 2 years’ time.
So yes Google. Please do give us guidance and advice as to what works best. Use your research and financial clout to inform and lead us not beat us. Don’t force millions of businesses to invest money they might not have, on a website they might not need, for users that might not care.
If you need help interpreting your analytics to see if a responsive, mobile-friendly site is right for you contact Intergage now.
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