It’s Not Mobilegeddon, or, How Mobile-Friendly Can Save Us All
If you think you don’t stand to benefit from Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm, then you’re wrong.
The media and some industry professionals alike have done a great job fear-mongering during the past month. We’ve heard everything from this is bad for small businesses to this update will put people out of business. The stats for mobile traffic have been greatly exaggerated and misconstrued (trust me, no one is going to lose even close to 65% of their traffic because of this). Even the universally adopted name Mobilegeddon is designed to instill fear in our little digital hearts.
But the only thing this algorithm is the end of is crappy user experience.
Whether you are a consumer or a business, mobile-friendly is good for you. Anyone who is ruined because of mobile-friendly is ruined through their own choosing.
Let’s look at this from the consumer standpoint:
Mobile-friendly brings you a better search experience. No longer do you have to sift through loads of bad websites to find one that actually works on your phone.
But wait...are the best businesses really all mobile optimized? What about that small business that provides the best service in town but can’t afford a mobile website?
Hogwash. If you think the mobile-friendly update will put them out of business, you couldn’t be more wrong. There are still plenty of opportunities for visibility (desktop search, local search results, digital advertising, social media, email marketing, print advertisements, word of mouth, etc.). Any business that folds because of one single algorithm update was doing it all wrong. Google can only kill your business if you let it.
Let’s take a deeper look from the perspective of the business owner:
Already had a mobile-friendly site? Fantastic! You benefit by doing nothing.
Decided to go mobile-friendly because of Google’s announcement? That’s great! You end up with better rankings and more conversions. And all because Google suggested you do something.
But what about those business owners who refuse to go mobile? Well, you may be hurt by this. Just how much will depend on your industry. But, chances are, whatever loss in traffic you do experience won’t be the end of the world. After all, most of that mobile traffic probably wasn’t converting anyway. Even if you were seeing a somewhat decent conversion rate on that mobile traffic, do you really think it’s going to keep happening if you don’t keep up with the technology? Eventually, you have to adapt.
But wait? What if every website went mobile-friendly? Then no rankings would change, right? And no one would benefit? Wrong again. Customers would benefit because every site would give a good mobile experience. That means they would find what they needed faster. And businesses would benefit because customers would be more likely to convert. Once again, mobile-friendly saves the day!
Google couldn’t have made this easier on you. It’s the first time the search engine ever gave an exact date when an algorithm would launch. They gave you more than a month to get ready. In reality, they gave you years to get ready. Mobile-friendly could have (and should have) been launched years ago. But more than time, Google gave you knowledge. They told you exactly what needed to be done. They gave you tools and explicit directions for how to do it. There are no surprises here.
This isn’t a case of Google playing favorites. This is not about the haves versus the have nots. Any business can make a mobile-friendly website. Even if you can’t afford tens of thousands of dollars for a professional agency redesign (that will definitely pay for itself in the long run), there are options available. And Google even told you about some of them.
And it’s not like Google is being subjective. There are no levels of mobile-friendly. This algorithm doesn’t have the power to say the big business is more mobile-friendly than the little guy. You either are or you aren’t. So the size of your budget doesn’t matter here. It’s just about doing what’s right—providing the best user experience for your potential customers.
This is the most transparent thing Google has ever done. It’s also one of the best things the search engine has done for both the users and business owners in a long time. If you don’t agree, then you might not be relevant anymore.
Google’s mobile-friendly update is far from the apocalypse people claimed it was just so they could get more clicks on their articles. It's a vast improvement to a growing technology. And this is no Google fanboyism. Google’s done plenty of things to make it harder for website owners. Mobile-friendly is not one of them.
April 21st won’t go down as the day businesses died. It will go down as the day that mobile search got better. April 21st wasn’t Mobilegeddon. It was the day Google saved us all from impending device doom.