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Google: Mobile websites gain preference in searches after internet giant changes algorithm, with marketing firms profiting

By Chris Price

It has been referred to as Mobilegeddon and the Mobilepocalypse in the tech world – and it is earning AM Marketing a lot of business.

“I have got a lot of people coming to me saying their website doesn’t work,” said Amy McManus, owner of the Canterbury digital marketing specialists.

“They are saying they used to be in Google rankings but now they are not there.

Google is offering advice to businesses and residents to develop their digital skills
Google is offering advice to businesses and residents to develop their digital skills

“It’s because they don’t have a mobile-friendly site. What used to be classed as mobile friendly isn’t any more. That’s the issue.”

Many businesses are still unaware of changes to Google’s ranking system back in April.

“If your site’s pages aren’t mobile-friendly, there may be a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search..." - Google

The search giant changed its algorithm for what is deemed mobile-friendly, causing a collapse in traffic for many firms.

On the day of the roll-out, April 21, Google said: “We’re boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results.

“Now searchers can more easily find high-quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming – tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.

“If your site’s pages aren’t mobile-friendly, there may be a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search.

“But have no fear, once your site becomes mobile-friendly, we will automatically re-process (ie, crawl and index) your pages.”

The changes have potentially huge implications for companies that have not made the switch to mobile-friendly websites.

Last year, web analytics firm comScore estimated Google’s market share of the search engine sector was up to 68%, with the rest divided mainly between Yahoo! and Bing.

In another report, it said mobile web surfing accounts for 52% of people’s time accessing the internet, with surfing on desktops and tablets trailing way behind.

Mrs McManus has benefited from the changes, with more clients looking for help from her company, which was named PR and Marketing Business of the Year at the Kent Independent Trader Awards last month.

Amy McManus, left, and Lorna Morris at AM Marketing
Amy McManus, left, and Lorna Morris at AM Marketing

“The number of people who search for something on their phone is far more than the number of people who search on a desktop,” she said.

“There could be up to 75% of people searching for your services on a mobile compared to on a tablet or desktop. That is a huge potential customer base.”

Gemma Dale of Bliss Beauty Therapy in Eastry had a website and separate mobile site created.

She said: “With a website that worked on mobile devices, we could attract customers that wouldn’t have found us before.

“Now our clients can look at treatments and offers and book appointments easily online. We are so pleased with the mobile site and the positive effect its had on business.”

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