Google algorithm favours mobile

In late April, Google changed its algorithm for searches made from mobile devices to preference websites that have mobile-friendly web pages. The move was referred to by some commentators as “mobilegeddon”, but a month later what is the verdict?

While “mobilegeddon” was perhaps over-dramatic, it reflected the fact that more than 60 per cent of all searches now originate from mobile devices. This is expected to continue to increase as both the number of mobile devices and their sophistication increase. This means that all businesses need to be aware that they start to ensure their websites are mobile friendly or are at least moving that way.

Given that Google announced the change three months in advance of the change, it is surprising that50 per cent of the websites of S&P/ASX 200 companies are not mobile-friendly. These include several of Australia’s largest internet service providers. If technology businesses are lagging, other directors may not have fully realised the potential impact  of customer experience.

This could also mean that, as with much of digital disruption, small companies will have a significant advantage over the large established businesses. A small company website is far easier to make mobile-ready than a large corporate website with thousands of pages.

Directors of all size businesses will need to ask what the plan is for making the website mobile-friendly. The fact that Google has “forced their hand” is actually good news as the best businesses should have already been moving to mobile friendly interactions with customers and potential customers.

How to test your site: Google have a very simple tool at which any organisation can use. The Google site also contains guidance on how to assist in making websites mobile friendly.

The list of mobile unfriendly ASX 200 sites is here.