The behavioral trends of online consumers are dynamic and subject to change as new technology comes up to cater to the differing tastes of these consumers. For instance, more and more people are accessing the internet via their mobile devices. The smartphone, iPads and tablets have made this possible and an increasing number of people are going online when on the move. What this means is that there’s every need to ensure these people are able to view online content in a manner that allows good viewing and smooth navigation. For this reason, online businesses have taken steps to ensure their sites don’t just look good on a PC but are mobile-friendly as well.
In the past, Google has continually ensured that their algorithms adapt to the usage patterns of the mobile consumer. Updates have been made to ensure sites are configured properly and viewable on mobile devices. On top of making it easier for users to find mobile-friendly sites, Google has also introduced App indexing which is geared towards making content from apps more easily reachable.
As of April 21st, Google will go a step further as far as mobile-friendliness is concerned. Google intends to expand their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will be felt worldwide and will affect mobile searches in all languages. What this means is, starting April 21st, online consumers on their mobile devices will find it easier to get their hands on relevant and high-quality search results that have been optimized for their devices. In simple terms, once you get online on your mobile device, you will get more mobile-friendly sites in your search results. “We saw the handwriting on the wall and immediately started plans to build a mobile friendly site for business owners and entrepreneurs looking for a business cash advance or other alternative lending solutions,” says Oleg Rud, President of Imperial Advance, a New York company that provides working capital to small and midsize businesses.
Another change that Google intends to effect is the use of information from indexed apps to rank sign-in users who have installed the app. This will make it easier to surface content from indexed apps, making it much easier for mobile device users to access information on platforms that are friendly for their devices.
This announcement by Google is one that will mean big changes for online business. For starters, any online business that has previously ignored calls to go mobile-friendly has no option but to comply. Simply put, if you are in the online business field you cannot afford to lock out the consumers who are on their mobile devices, as they form a huge proportion of overall consumers. As such, search engine optimization efforts can no longer be confined to searches on the PC, as this is being quickly replaced as far as preference and convenience counts.
In a recent study, 44% of Fortune 500 web sites failed the mobile-friendly test and are at risk of being penalized in search results when that update rolls out on April 21st. “I wouldn’t read too much into dire pronouncements of doom and deindexing, but every company should be thinking about the mobile user experience and how to improve their Web site,” explains Todd William, founder and CEO of Reputation Rhino, a creative digital agency in New York City.
For online consumers, the news that Google is about to go mobile-friendly will be much appreciated, considering this will make it much easier to access what information they are searching for, and in a format that makes viewing easy.