How Google's Mobile Update Reinforces the Importance of User Experience

4/21/2015

- Chuck Forbes, Client Strategist

The Google “Mobilegeddon” is among us! April 21, 2015 marks the official day that Google will start using a new algorithm that ranks mobile-friendly websites higher than others in mobile search.

While those in the marketing and advertising industries are used to hearing “content is king,” this mobile update only further reinforces another necessary focus – user experience. The days of websites that rank well in mobile search but require that you must zoom in to read the text, navigate through unfriendly menus, or that require a scavenger hunt to find hyperlinks are over. On April 21st, Google mobile searches will show webpages that are mobile-friendly ahead of those that aren’t. This new algorithm showcases that Google leads the way with top industry trends, and also caters to users and their mobile search experience.

There are still those who may suffer from this new algorithm – small businesses. We know that over the years small businesses have gained foot traffic from local searches. People in the area want to know: What’s good to eat close by? Where is the nearest coffee shop? Businesses that may have a smaller marketing budget and perhaps have held off on website updates will feel a hit.

When businesses realize that changes do need to be made to their mobile websites, they will probably act because they have to – not necessarily because they want to. This is ironic, because the customer should be the main priority, and a mobile-friendly site is one sure way to address their needs while on the go. Google’s algorithm change is just another way of making sure this happens. Ranking mobile optimized websites higher on mobile search is not done because Google has nothing better to do; it’s done because it is time for a change in user experience. It is the fundamentals of business shining through, even in the modern day of marketing.

With this new algorithm in place, I encourage any business that does not have a mobile-friendly site to get one. It shouldn’t be a task you feel like you have to do, but rather another gesture to show your clientele you’re committed to progressing with the ever-changing online landscape and providing them with a better customer experience.

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