Should you be worried about ‘mobilegeddon’?

On April 21, Google is making a change that will affect search results when the person searching is using a smartphone. Not to be alarmist at all, this change has been christened ‘mobilegeddon’!

We interviewed Customer Focus’ Chief Technology Officer, Fred Schade, to get his take on how this affects promotional product distributors.

Liz Allen (me): Firstly, let’s address the obvious question – what the heck is mobilegeddon?

Fred Schade: This is the term tech-bloggers are using to describe Google’s update on April 21, 2015, which will see mobile optimized websites rank higher than non-optimized websites when the search is done from a smaller mobile device.

Liz: Woah you lost me a bit there – can we start with mobile optimized websites?

Fred: These are websites that change when they’re viewed from a small mobile device – your iPhone 6, Galaxy S4 etc. You can either have a separate website specifically for mobile, or you can have a responsive website which changes depending on the device that’s being used to view it – mobile, tablet, desktop etc.

Liz: OK gotcha. So if I search for promotional products distributors on Google, I’m going to see people with mobile optimized sites first?

Fred: Not necessarily; the change only affects searches done from a smaller mobile device. So if you searched from your iPhone, you would see mobile optimized distributor sites first; but from a desktop or tablet, you will see the same results as you do now.

Liz: So this only affects mobiles – tablets and laptops and desktops stay the same?

Fred: That’s correct. Which means that while this is a key update for retailers with a bricks and mortar presence, it’s not going to make a huge amount of difference to most promotional product distributors.

Liz: Why won’t it really affect promotional product distributors?

Fred: Because very few B2B purchases are made via a mobile – recent research [Editor: read it here] shows that only 6% of B2B buyers say that not having a mobile optimized website ‘impacts the buying process a lot’.

Liz: Do you think this will change in the future?

Fred: It’s always best to be prepared. The team at Customer Focus are working hard to provide mobile optimized templates for our customers, so that option will be available in the near future.

Liz: What if I really must have a mobile optimized site right now?

Fred: We can custom-code you a mobile optimized distributor website now, if you really can’t wait! Just contact us to discuss your requirements and we’ll quote you for the work.

So there you have it, folks! Mobilegeddon isn’t going to be the end of your search engine rankings as you know them, but if you’re thinking of investing in a new website, ask your provider if they have, or will soon have, a mobile optimized option.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions – we also recommend this great article from Search Engine Watch for further information.

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