As digital industry professionals we are dedicated to making sure the disregard for the mobile user will become a relic of the past. The benefits for a business and website having a responsive website are so frequently mentioned, those who not develop for mobile could be likened to global-warming deniers.
In fact, we no longer develop sites that are not “mobile-friendly”, nor do we quote on projects without responsive in mind. As a company, we feel that should we not take this stance, we are doing our clients a dis-service and thus not doing our job. It would also be a great disservice to the web user industry as a whole, granted that almost 50% of sites are viewed from a non-desktop platform.
It is refreshing that the world’s largest IT services company, Google, shares this view. Our stance on this has become even more justified this week with the release of their new algorithm, aimed at benefiting the worldwide, mobile Internet user-base. We touched on this in a previous post - Google's Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Changes.
In short, Google’s new formula will favour websites that it defines as “mobile-friendly”, meaning that these “mobile-friendly” sites are more than likely to appear at the top of the page rankings. Many search experts around the world have labeled the new rating system as “Mobile-geddon”.
The reality is, with more and more smartphones, tablets and mobile devices in the marketplace, the percentage of people accessing search engines and surfing the web has dramatically increased. As Internet access becomes easier and the population grows, so does the Internet user base. Illustrated below, in 2014 mobile Internet use overtook desktop use for the first time. The widening gap in this trend is expected to increase further more.
So what does this mean?
The editor-in-chief for Search Engine Land Matt McGee has said “It's probably the most significant change that Google Inc. has ever made to its mobile search rankings”.
And another authority in the online world Itai Sadan, CEO of website building service Duda says "Some sites are going to be in for a big surprise when they find a drastic change in the amount of people visiting them from mobile devices,"
Australian businesses appear to be the ones most at risk of being disadvantaged with a staggering 66% of Australian websites not optimised for mobile devices. Even more interesting is that fact that a Roi.com.au analysis of ASX 200 listed companies discovered that 51.5% of these companies. Including Domino’s, BHP Billiton and Coca-Cola and Pepsi do not have mobile-friendly websites.
A “mobile-friendly” site is not a website that re-directs to a mobile site, it’s a site that responds and scales to the device being used. Making it “Responsive”.
For a full and comprehensive explanation for what makes your website “mobile-friendly” visit Google Webmasters.
So, before you drop off Google’s radar.