There are technical requirements and costs involved in any solution that makes a website mobile-friendly. There are not necessarily high, but business owners need to consider every option.
This article gives six reasons why you need to consider making your website mobile-friendly.
Let’s give a brief history. Google initiated the shift to mobile devices on April 21, 2015. The intent was to offer a better and faster user experience (UX) to a developing audience that uses their mobile phones when on the move.
Research has shown that a huge chunk of traffic (50-60%) now comes from mobile devices and continues to develop.
The change raised concerns on introducing another algorithm, and the community gave the name ‘Mobilegeddon’ to this change. Mobilegeddon or the mobile-friendly change has proven that it does not directly penalize websites and research has shown that its impact was minor, not deserving at all the second part of its name ‘-geddon.’
The intent to favor mobile websites is there but somewhat subtle. Google said that they would push up mobile-optimized sites and they show up a mobile-friendly label to those sites.
The push, if it becomes real, will, of course, demote the websites that are non-optimized. That’s an action, currently an option, they can take at any time, so best prepare for it than running after it.
But there’s another issue, which is more realistic and threatening in my POV.
Below I give six reasons why this can go wrong for business owners that don’t adopt the change:
1. Google has pushed out this year the AMPs (Accelerated Mobile Pages) which require more coding than a simple styling sheet i.e. Responsive pages. So, Google continues to invest in mobile devices, clearly sees them as the future of the web and the AMPs promise to offer lightning speed to users (their icon depicts thunder).
2. Google ranks websites based on individual signals embedded in their algorithms. So more positive signals push up a website, not so many signals or even negative signals will demote it.
3. There are two separate algorithms for desktop and mobile devices, and speed is present in both algorithms and device types but probably executed differently. The important here is to understand that a speedy desktop website will not pull up the mobile version and vice-versa as the algorithms are built and run independently.
4. Traffic that is generated by mobile devices shows increasing trends since last year, currently reaching percentages of 50-60% of organic and paid traffic but it is expected to grow shortly further.
5. Google counts as a positive signal the time spent on websites of any type, so a non-optimized site will plausibly not attract enough clicks and indeed will not offer a good UX for mobile devices with higher bounce rates. Bad UX and high bounce rates are negative signals for Google.
6. All the above can indirectly bring demotion as if not satisfied then they will be seen as negative signals. Maybe Google is not ready to release its algorithm since many business owners have not upgraded their sites, but all negative signals will eventually push up the websites that offer better and faster UX. The demotion may come as a result of a market/industry shift and realistic conditions.
Again, best preparing for the changes is better than running after them. Responsive sites are not AMP websites; it’s one step behind.