Google’s recent move to label websites according to how mobile friendly they are is “a game changer for digital publishers”, a mobile marketing expert has claimed.
Writing in iMedia Connection, Daniel Meehan (CEO and founder of mobile software firm PadSquad), warns that publishers’ faith in native apps is misplaced. Apps don’t drive traffic to their businesses, which of course means that they don’t drive revenue either.
Publishing colossi like Hearst and Conde Nast and small independent bloggers alike have already figured out that most of their traffic comes from search and social media referrals. And those with subscription and advertising revenue models know that their native app audience is dwarfed by their mobile web audience, not uncommonly by a factor of between 10 and 20 to one.
But Google also knows that we are entering, inevitably, the era of the mobile web. Which is why it wants to give that process a nudge with its new mobile-friendliness algorithm, a development which should give any laggards out there pause for thought. Research by eMarketer found that for the first time, adults in the U.S. spent more time spent more time accessing digital content from their tablets, phablets and smartphone than from their laptops or PCs in 2014.
The writing’s on the wall: Google knows that the world of search has changed as a consequence of the burgeoning uptake of mobile devices. More people than ever before are Googling from smartphones and the figure is on the rise. This sea change in mobile usage isn’t going unnoticed by the search giant. It doesn’t want to miss the boat.
During the last decade, SEO and SEM strategy depended on providing the right metadata in order to secure high rankings in consumer searches. Google mobile new move has ensured that being mobile friendly is now equally important. For people searching via mobile, the mobile friendly icon means everything (who wants to read miniscule text content on their mobile device, or struggle with unnavigable menus?)
It’s time to get mobile friendly. Meehan doesn’t mince his words:
“Publishers that fail to grasp this opportunity to adapt their sites and their strategy to be mobile-first are in danger of missing the boat as well. If you are not thinking of digital from a mobile perspective in 2015, you could do just that.”