Learn what is Mobilegeddon, what are the consequences of this update and download a research about mobile friendliness of brands' websites in Croatia.
What is it and why it happened?
You probably heard about the new Google search algorithm update popularly called 'Mobilegeddon' that is favoring mobile-friendly websites. Mobile searches and traffic are increasing and Google wants to penalise websites that are not mobile-friendly. So every website that is not mobile friendly will be penalised on organic rankings on mobile searches. Google's main goal is to secure a satisfying user experience for its users and, of course, to earn more money on mobile search ads.
In the current situation where lots of web sites are not mobile-friendly, mobile ad prices remain very low compared to the desktop search ads. Main reason for that is when searchers tap on the ads, they land on a site which doesn't look good on their mobile device and they go somewhere else. So advertisers don't want to pay as much for the mobile ads, not realising that bad results are their bad site's fault.
With this update Google is forcing them to go mobile, and join in mobile ads war with its main competitor Facebook which has seen strong mobile ad revenue rise in past years!
The things you need to know about update
A mobile page is considered mobile-friendly if:
- It is not based on the technology not common on mobile devices (ex. Flash)
- Text is readable without zooming
- Links are far enough from each other so you can easily click on the correct one
- Content adapts to the screen so the users don't have to scroll horizontally or zoom
You can check if your website is mobile-friendly on Google mobile test. Google also provides webmasters with instructions on how to make the website mobile friendly.
Another important things that you need to know about the update are in short:
- Update impacts only mobile searches and gives a ranking boost to mobile-friendly websites. It doesn't affect the desktop searches.
- It only impacts searches on mobile smartphone devices, not tablets
- Mobile-friendly algorithm is on the page-to-page basis, so that means if only some of your pages on the website are not mobile-friendly, some can benefit from this algorithm.
- Mobile-friendly is a Yes or No measurement, there is no gradation of a website being 'more or less' mobile-friendly than the other website
- Relevancy is still more important than mobile friendliness, so if someone searches for a big brand name Google will probably rank that brand site in the first position even if it doesn't have a mobile-friendly website. But that is not the case in all non-brand related queries.
What does it mean for brands?
In the long term, it is a good thing for brands because it will force them to make mobile-friendly sites and they will have benefits from them. But in the short term, this update can be a potential catastrophe for your website's mobile traffic and for brands that started adapting their websites too late.
You can check how big your mobile traffic really is if you go to the Audience>Mobile>Overview report in Google Analytics. In the last month about 15% of traffic on our blog was from mobile.
According to comScore, mobile search queries (smartphones + tablets) make for roughly 29 percent of total search volume which means that, on average, websites that are not mobile-friendly could lose 30% of the market. Would you be uninterested if someone said that you will lose 30% of your potential customers in offline world? I don't think so!
Despite that, more than 45% of Fortune 500 companies and 29% of Internet Retailer 500 sites weren’t mobile-friendly by early April, according to RKG Merkle research.
Mobile-friendly websites in Croatia
We researched 178 Croatian brands to see if their sites are mobile-friendly. We analysed brands' homepages as this is usually the first landing page for organic visitors. Out of 177 websites only 87 of them were mobile-friendly. That is 49.15% which means half of them are still not mobile-friendly.
If we talk about entire industries, the largest percentage of mobile-friendly websites is in the Healthcare industry (80%), second is News & Media industry with 76%, and third is Tourism and Beer with 60%.
The worst situation is in Financial (only 18,75% of mobile-friendly websites), Retail (31,25%), and Insurance sectors (33,33%). This is very interesting because these markets have big opportunities to drive mobile users. You can see rest of the statistics for Croatian brands and industries if you download our research at the form below.
Maybe it's possible that the usage of the word Mobilegeddon is an overreaction but in every case, mobile is the future and all brands should adapt to it. Especially with changes like this one which will cost brands serious traffic, potential leads and customers who will rather go to the mobile-friendly websites of their competition.
Here is the form for research download!