Or, better said, Google starts to delete non-mobile pages.
On April 21st, Google will begin to show only mobile-friendly pages in the search results that are made on mobile device. If you search on a desktop computer, you get everything. But if you search on your phone or tablet, you’ll only see search results that are optimized for mobile.
Practically every webdev and SEO company is drooling over this: they’re terrorizing clients that every page must be converted to mobile-friendly. Of course. They’ll get lots of money for that.
I say maybe. Only in some cases, do you need to deal with this. Here are three questions:
- Do mobile users matter to you? Namely, do mobile users register or buy from you? Do they convert with an action that you want? Use your web analytics to check conversions by device. If few or none mobile users are converting, then why bother with them?
- If you’re not tracking conversions (oh, dear…), then at least you can see traffic, assuming that you’ve set up web analytics (and if not, oh, dear…) Your web analytics can show you how much of your traffic comes from mobile. If it’s minor (say, less than 10%), don’t bother.
- Is your audience primarily in Russia or China? If your traffic is in Russia, they’re likely using Yandex, the Russian search engine. Or if they’re in China, they’re using Baidu, the Chinese search engine. In either case, your audience isn’t using Google, so who cares what Google says?
- Is your audience B2C or B2B? If it’s B2B, then very likely, they are using desktop computers to search in Google and visit your site. So once again, you don’t need to make changes.
The most important item is the first: are your mobile users registering/buying at your page? If so, then you must optimize for them. If not, don’t bother.
If you need to optimize for mobile, call your friendly local webspinner. You need to make those pages Google-compliant. Yep, once again, Google decides what everyone should do. You either do what they say or they’ll delete you. Never mind that Google’s own websites aren’t mobile-friendly.
But don’t give your web developer a blank check. Don’t optimize your entire site. Once again, use your web analytics and look for the landing pages at which your mobile users enter your site (okay, that’s a mouthful and if you’re not really good at web analytics, ask your neighbor’s 12-year old daughter to explain that to you). Those pages, and only those pages, are the ones that you need to mobilize (cute term, no?). Thousands of webmasters will sigh that they won’t get paid to mobile-optimize entire sites. Don’t worry about them: many clueless website owners will pay them anyway. Whatever.
Anyway, show this to your boss. And show it to his 12-year niece too so she can explain it to him.