Internet search engine Google have begun prioritising business web sites that are “mobile-friendly” when people use the search engine on their smartphones. While businesses with desktop-only sites would still appear in Google’s search results, they would be ranked lower than sites that are tailored for mobile use. A former Google representative said “the company’s philosophy has always been to put the user first, so these algorithm changes are in tune with that.”
In 2015, small businesses need a web presence to gain credibility, showcase and promote products to a wider demographic, improve customer service and keep them in the loop. In the world of internet jargon, “mobile-friendly” means that a website offers the user an interface that is simple and intuitive to use on smaller screens, like tablets and mobile phones.
Google says 96% of people using the internet have visited a site that doesn’t work on their mobile device, meaning they have often abandoned the web page, and with it the business. According to the company, their reasons for making the changes were about improving user capabilities and protecting advertising revenue from poor customer service, as well as collating the best possible user experience across mobile, tablet and desktops.
This news is especially important for businesses who have web sites that were set up more than 2-3 years ago with an older design which will most likely not be mobile-friendly. If you’re in doubt about your business page, seek advice from your web consultant or service provider.