I predict a big Google rankings shakedown by 2015. And the reason is mobile.
Bear with me for a minute while I give a little background. On May 30, 2012, the “Queen of the Internet,” Mary Meeker, delivered her state of the internet presentation at All Things Digital. In her analysis, she showed the graph below of mobile web traffic surpassing desktop web traffic in India, in April, 2012.
That means more people are searching and surfing online using their mobile devices versus their desktops. But that’s just in India. So if you’re targeting US users, then who cares right?
Well, in a previous report, Mary predicted the US mobile web traffic would overtake desktops by 2015. Below is the graph Mary presented back in 2010.
So it’s only a matter of time before the US “catches up” to the India mobile web traffic. And when that happens, more people will be visiting your website via mobile devices than desktop computers. But how in the heck does this relate to Google rankings?
Great question, but I need to explain one more trend in the mobile market. Then I promise this will all come together and make sense.
Most Businesses Are Ignoring Mobile
According to Google, 79% of the large online retailers still do not have a mobile-friendly website. These are businesses that make a ton of money from online traffic, yet they’re not catering to the growing needs of mobile visitors. The percentage of service businesses and brick and mortar businesses without mobile sites is obviously much higher.
Have you ever tried to navigate a non-mobile-friendly website on your cell phone? Sometimes the font is too small to read. Other times the links are too hard to click using your fingers on a touch screen. And in the worst cases, the website doesn’t even work due to compatibility issues.
So let’s put this all together.
The Future Google Rankings Shakedown
In the near future, the majority of your Google website traffic will come from mobile devices. However, most businesses are ignoring mobile, so these mobile visitors will have a frustrating user experience. When website users are frustrated, then they click back to find a better, more mobile-friendly website.
Google includes user behavior in their algorithm, and certain signals like a lot of visitors quickly bouncing (or clicking the back button) will negatively impact your search rankings.
So that means businesses that rank high in Google today will lose their rankings if they ignore the mobile trends. It also means businesses that take action, and quickly adopt mobile, will have the search engine optimization (SEO) advantage in the future.
How to Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
If you’re wondering what you need to do right now to make sure you’re on the winning side of the Google shakeup, then check out our new Marketing Action Guide, “How to Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly In 7 Easy Steps.”