According to the Pew Research Center, 56% of adults own smartphones in the United States. There are also an increasing number of teens and kids using smart phones as well, for better or for worse. That’s a whole lot of people using smartphones.
This infographic from Microsoft indicates that by 2014, mobile internet should take over desktop internet usage. That’s a huge change from even five years ago when mobile browsing was cumbersome and awkward on tiny smartphone screens.
Now with giant smartphone “phablets” like the Galaxy Note II, mobile browsing is an ease and even a preference over desktop browsing for some users. Even the iPhone’s minimal screen increase to a four-inch screen has made mobile browsing a pleasure.
Because of the increased smartphone internet usage and the increasing user friendliness of the browsers, Google has started to rank non-mobile friendly sites below those that are optimized for mobile browsing.
In 2011, Google did release a Googlebot-Mobile web spider to crawl and index mobile specific content. The spider changes the page rankings on a smartphone based on the mobile-friendliness of the sites.
On June 11, Google posted an article, Changes in Rankings of Smartphone Search Results, reiterating their mission to give smartphone users the “full richness of the web.” Google has always been about optimizing the user’s internet experience, and these smartphone search updates ensures mobile users find mobile sites.
So, small businesses, be sure to optimize your mobile sites lest ye be punished in the mobile search results. There are only benefits for your business: increase visibility on the web, more impressions, and an increase in internet-driven sales. More clicks often equal more profit. If users can find your site quicker and easier than your competitor’s, you’re in the money.
Beware of faulty redirects (i.e. www.example.com/blog redirecting to m.example.com) and errors that are smartphone specific, as Google dictates in their article mentioned above. A smartphone user that encounters those errors while browsing will immediately quit your website for a mobile friendly one.
About The Guest Author: Gabriel Stephens majored in Literature at Boise State University, but instead of taking the road more traveled, he decided to try his hand in link building. He works at Page One Power in Boise, ID. In his free time he reads, plays the guitar, and reads some more.
Smartphone With Apps Photo via Shutterstock