This is a warning for anyone out there with a website!
Specifically, if your business depends on its web presence to survive and thrive – listen up!
Big things are coming, as reported by Sarah Perez on TechCrunch.
Changes to Google’s search algorithms – which they announced earlier this year – are going have a major impact on how web pages are indexed on the Internet’s giant of search.
In light of this, the way that millions of people search, shop and buy online is going to be seriously influenced by this change in Google’s approach to mobile search. An example of the kind of businesses we really hope are aware of this, consists of small and medium-sized enterprises! This is because – for most businesses at this kind of scale, with these kinds of profiles – online search makes a huge difference to the general level of awareness surrounding their brand.
“Over 40 percent of Fortune 500 websites aren’t optimized for smartphones”
Even something as fundamental as having a site run on a Content Management System will be ranked advantageously by search.
This is because CMS websites are likely to load faster – which is just one of Google’s new mobile-centric criteria.
Everyone needs to remember – even including kingpins at “over 40 percent of Fortune 500 websites”: sites that aren’t “optimized for smartphones’ smaller screens would see their search ranks downgraded as a result.”
So for those who are planning ahead now, Google has set out some mobile-friendly criteria – “the site needs to be easily usable from a mobile device”:
- text needs to be legible without “tapping and zooming”
- “tap targets need to be spaced out appropriately”
- the page needs to “avoid unplayable content or horizontal scrolling”
According to Google, “this will only affect a site’s search ranking on mobile devices”. But as more and more internet users go online using mobile devices, this is one heads up that all businesses online really can’t afford to ignore – from aforementioned SMEs, to big brands.
Berkshire Hathaway, Phillips 66, Valero Energy, Fannie Mae, UnitedHealth Group, McKesson all sit within the top 20 of the Fortune 500 list. They’re also examples of giant organisations currently lacking on the mobile front. To be crystal clear, this kind of shortcoming – especially in 2015 – really comes at any business owner’s personal risk. According to eMarketer, the number of smartphone users will shoot above 2 billion users worldwide in 2016 – at the very latest, so the risk involved in ignoring these changes speaks for itself entirely.
Perez sums it up nicely:
“It’s surprising how common it still is to come across websites from top brands which haven’t been properly optimized for the smartphone or other smaller screens. Apparently, they do need the threat of a downgrade from Google in order to make any changes.”
Are you a small to medium-size business owner? Are you prepared? Contact us here to see how we might be able to help you out.
But I think I’ll leave that for another blog post!