Google Changes Search Results for Mobile Users
In the last few years the number of people using mobile devices for internet access has increased significantly, according to web and tech experts. The number of mobile devices in the world now exceeds 5 billion, while there are only about 2 billion computers. Additionally, many people have their mobile devices with them at all times. If a person wants to do a quick web search, a mobile device is often more convenient than a computer. Overall, mobile searches will soon account for more of total search engine use than desktop-based searches.
Because of this trend, Google has made a change to their search results. The change is only visible when users perform Google searches on mobile devices. The algorithms that Google uses can detect web content that might not work on a mobile device. A warning message now appears under a website's name and address telling the user that certain website elements are not compatible with the mobile device and will not load.
This new Google search feature may have a big impact on some businesses. Many business websites include content written in an older programming language, such as Adobe Flash. These older languages are not compatible with most mobile devices. If a mobile device user sees a business in their search results with this warning, the user will most likely ignore it and move on to a website that is viewable on a mobile device. Since so much of web traffic now goes through mobile devices, this new search result format may cause a significant drop in page views and potential customers for some businesses.
Google has said that they will not adjust the order of search results based on whether or not a website is viewable on mobile devices. However, even a website that appears high in the search results may lose a lot of page visits due to this change. Over time, as a page gets less traffic, it will gradually come in lower in the search results.
For website owners, this change is a reminder of how important it is to make sure a site is readable on mobile devices. Mobile device users now account for such a high percentage of web traffic that it is essential to cater to their needs. A website doesn't need to become strictly mobile. However, it should be compatible with mobile devices.
If you own a business, you should check that your business website is completely readable on a mobile device. Make sure you are using a fairly new mobile device, such as iOS, Android 4.1, or something more recent. Start by searching for your website or business using Google and other major search engines. Once you have found your site in the search results, select it and try to load each page. If the site fails to load, or if you notice any blank pages or missing content, you will need to update your site.
If your website is more than a few years old, it may be time to redesign and modernize it. Making a website mobile compatible is likely to be a wise investment. With mobile devices users accounting for a higher percentage of internet users each year, a mobile site is now essential for any business that relies on web searches to bring in customers. you can read more about the changes on Emerging IT's blog.