Just this past week Google announced that it was ramping up its organic sorting algorithm to enhance placement for mobile-friendly websites. The flip side of that is that sites that are not mobile-friendly will be getting pushed down in the listings.
Google did not a big caveat… If the site that is not mobile-friendly is the most relevant to the search query , it, the not mobile-friendly site may still be preferentially shown.
In lay terms, this announcement means that Google is totally jacked up on mobile and it is big business for them based on search trends and user demographics. Google has simply stated that having a mobile-friendly website is now no longer an after thought, but the new way to do business on the web.
What I know is that when Google says something, you’ve just got to listen. With many of our clients having over 50% of their website traffic from smartphones and more than 50% of AdWords clicks coming in from mobile devices, you’ve got to embrace the mobile experience. It is here to stay.
In Google Analytics I am seeing many clients have shrinking organic traffic numbers as both Google and Bing revamp their results displays to show more ads, bigger ads, and on mobile fewer organic results.
On desktops the organic results were already being pushed nearly below the fold by the Google Knowledge Graph and Google Carousel and the six pack of Google Local results. On mobile the space is even more precious. It is not unusual to see only ads when the screen opens, then local results and only with significant scrolling any organic results.
For more information about the changing face of organic results read my blog post about the Google Knowledge Graph and Google Carousel from 2014. The space was shrinking then and now appears to be nearly gone in some new searches.
I read an article with interest this last week that laid out a very compelling case for the death of search engines. You can read the full article called “Is Search, As We Know It, Dying?”
The key takeaway that I have seen on my own is that the increased used of mobile devices is turning the regular world of search upside down. Consider on Google AdWords – activity in mobile means increased website traffic, more clicks, but does not translate into more conversions.
As mobile activity has increased in Google AdWords, computer activity has decreased and with it conversions, time on page, and the bounce rate has increased.
Google and Bing continue to scramble to make search meaningful for smartphone users by introducing interactive maps with ads but users are looking for other resources via apps to get the information they want.
Just consider how searches for hotels, venues, and restaurants has changed. Trip Advisor is a great example of how a mobile app is replacing traditional search for smartphone users.
Just yesterday I needed a round tablecloth, I did not search on Google, but rather started my search directly on Amazon.com.
With Google and Bing getting pressure to keep their search audience and websites like Amazon and mobile apps like Trip Advisor stepping in to provide targeted quality search results, we may be seeing the demise of traditional search engines in the next three to five years and maybe even sooner.
For more about me, Nancy McCord, and McCord Web Services, please visit our website at www.McCordWeb.com.
I am moving to the Fredericksburg, Virginia area in July and August this year and as I plan ahead for my move I am revamping my home and business phone technology used to use new things.
Currently, I have a fax telephone line, a business phone line, a residential phone line, two line phones throughout the house, hard wired CAT 5 cabling, and over 9 computers. With my new move, I am going to streamline my use of old tech and move to some new tech.
For example, I am thinking of:
1. Using a Word document/Office subscription fax interface that will allow me to fax using my smartphone as well as to receive faxes this way too. I like MyFax at MyFax.com as my solution. I selected this one due to ease of use and low price – $10 a month. I’ll be needing to have a temporary fax solution for three months before I move into my permanent office and so want something easy to use and usable on a smartphone.
2. I am actually thinking of not having a separate phone line for my business and using my smartphone as my office phone. I already have set up a Google Voice number and will most likely use this number on my website and have it forwarded to my smartphone or home phone on certain days. I have already purchased a new local phone number from Google for $10, as once you have a number you have to pay to change it. I like the ability to control when Google Voice forwards calls. You can even group contacts and then create different answering messages by group. You can have family and friends get automatically connected without delay which is a nice feature.
3. I know that I will have FiOS as my new office. I already have been using virtual phone numbers which really give a terrific cost saving and use VOIP. I may continue to use this for my business or at least for a dedicated fax line and now only one residential line, but I am still thinking of what is the best and most versatile option for my future needs.
With so many new technological choices what you used to think you had to have in your office phone-wise, you now get to think over and reinvent when you move. What technology have you moved to that has cut costs and streamlined your life? Make sure to let me know by clicking and leaving a comment. I guarantee that I’ll check it out and may use it too.
Fresh from doing a SEO review of five client sites, I have to say that mobilegeddon is a bust, at least so far.
Google started the roll out of this much talked about algorithm that was to have impacted over 14% of the search results in the mobile search sphere on Monday April 21st. But as of April 30th, I was still seeing sites appear routinely in the mobile search space that were not mobile-friendly.
Does that mean that there was all this hype about nothing? No, not really. I suspect that Google got scared of crashing it’s search engine and money driver if it moved too fast to chop sites that had not moved into mobile. I suspect that they will over time tweak this as new sites enter the index that are mobile-friendly, but they have already back pedaled from their previous approach.
Earlier in the year in the pending change announcement Google stated that if you did not have a mobile-friendly site you would be dropped from the mobile index. Later, Google softened this approach to say, well maybe you’d be dropped, but if your website really matched the query best and even if you were not mobile-friendly they would show your site in the mobile results as most relevant – totally watering down the first announcement.
Then, Google AdWords reps started to say, well if your site is not mobile-friendly and you are using AdWords advertising, your non-mobile-friendly website would still show in the mobile results as an AdWords ads. Note the serious conflict here? Advertising vs. Search?
I think that as it got closer to the date, Google decided that there was too much money at stake and sites had simply not upgraded as they had thought they would.
I do suspect that over time there will be a “weeding” of sites from the mobile index but for now I think the change on Google’s part is being driven by a concern for a loss of revenue in AdWords and search relevancy versus the competition.
If you are waited to update your website to be mobile-friendly and your traffic and business is crashing, know that Google means business in regards to transitioning to a mobile-focused world of search.
Over the last three months I have seen a huge shift even in AdWords conversions and for many clients all activity is now click to call from mobile devices. If you missed the boat and did not update your website to be mobile friendly by this week, here are a few quick things you can do to remediate that problem.
Some sites that you may want to check out if you are a do it yourselfer are:
DudaMobile – has mobile friendly as well as responsive designs.
WIX – just be careful of the design as not all are really responsive.
Shopify – has some nice designs to consider.
Webflow – is even a consideration.
Of course if you want greater control over your design and content, or simply do not have enough time to do this yourself, we have a very nice turnkey program for responsive websites for you to check out and try out online. Just let us know your interested and we’ll send you a link to over 50 super nice responsive starting points for your customized website.