I’m sure as the mobile computing has changed over the years from not done or able to some people tried it to now people are using their mobile devices regularly. In fact in early 2014 (yep that’s over a year ago!) mobile internet surfing (keep in mind that mobile internet surfing is using a defined as using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or other devices you are able to easily pack up and move out of your home or place of business) mobile device usage has overtaken that of PC’s. Don’t believe me? Look at the article in Search Engine Watch which states:
“Mobile Exceeds PC Internet Usage for First Time in History
In early 2014, the landscape in which businesses operate changed forever when Internet usage on mobile devices exceeded PC usage.”
To me, this isn’t a shock. I still remember back 14 years ago when September 11th attacks happened in NY. Getting emails from family in on my home PC was fine, but I HAD to go to work the next day as my boss was away and not contactable, so I was it. I travel using the public transport system here, at that point, and it took me over an hour to get into their and then the walk to work. That morning I was trying to use my phone (Motorola P7389) which had WAP (or
Wireless Application Protocol which was the new – at that time – standard for mobile internet usage) on it. We got the phone because it was compatible to use between Australia and the US and could surf the net. If only we knew how hard it was to use WAP we probably would have had another rethink due to the price (the phone was over $500 back then AND the WAP function was very expensive – I spent over $10 and only got the bare search engine site up). Ahh the things and lessons we learn over the years!
Anyhow, today almost everyone (I still know of 3 hold outs – my father, my father in law and my brother. My brother doesn’t even use messaging because he figures if anyone wants to talk to him they can call him *insert my eyes rolling here*) uses a smart phone if not a tablet of some sort.
Due to this, I know when you are developing a website you cater for both the desktop PC and a tablet/smart phone. If you don’t, then these possible consumers/guests will not get the information they might need from your website because of the coding of it.
What’s Google doing?
Now Google is getting tough. According to Social Media Today’s article “Google to Businesses: You Have Until April 21st to Get Mobile Friendly“, if your website is not Mobile Ready (aka you can view it using a mobile device) as of 21 April 2015, Google will be adding a Mobile Ready ranking to each website. If your website is NOT Mobile Ready, then this will severely degrade your standing in their algorithms when people do searches. In fact, if your website has already low numbers this will put your site at the bottom of the pile.
Why hasn’t Google informed me of this change yet?
Actually, since January Google has sent many webmasters emails stating their websites are not doing good on usability standings and to please fix them. I think either businesses haven’t acted upon them or they have ignored them thinking they weren’t that bad. In fact, Search Engineland even wrote an article up about this and it might be used for something bigger. How right they were because now Google’s going that one step farther.
Still not convinced this is just something they started within the last year with the rankings? I’d say that’s false because Google has been working with this idea before Mid 2014. There was an article “Google Is Experimenting With Special Ranking For Mobile-Friendly Sites” and this was in November, so they would have been working on this for months – or longer – before it got out. I know here at home we knew something was going on because rankings were changing and things that were searched upon were further down and we didn’t know why. Well now I do know why – they were applying or trialling out the algorithm.
I know when I was taking my Web Technologies class, we had to concentrate our websites on functionality, accessibility (or SEO – Search Engine Optimization) and making sure EVERYONE could access it – no matter what platform or disability they had. To do otherwise would be criminal to both the people accessing your site and to your business.
How do I know if my site has SEO
If you don’t know if your site has SEO, I would suggest going away from work taking your mobile devices (all of them) and trying them out independently. Further, if you have both Apple and Android, I’d take both types with you and give them a try. You will find out each of these devices drive the coding on websites differently and you need to make sure they work on both. If they don’t or they take a while loading (you don’t want to sit there forever waiting for a site to load) then you or someone needs to take a look at it. AND if it’s a business website? You better get them on it now as you only have until April 21st 2015 until they start to affect your search ratings.