Commentary

Be Mobile-First Or Get Hit By 'Mobilegeddon'

There's only one thing on everyone's mind today -- and it's not just in London, but across the globe. How was "mobilegeddon" for you? If you've embraced mobile and have a smartphone-friendly Web site that makes it easy for people with big hands and small screens to interact with you, chances are all is okay. In fact, chances are that all is better than okay if a competitor or two has been caught out.

For those who have fallen foul of the new algorithm change, it must be said, what were you thinking? Nearly two in three searches globally are now said to originate from a mobile device, so why would any self-respecting brand ignore the channel? 

Brands usually get to complain about any Google algorithm change. They are usually talked about by Google after they happen as a way of explaining why some people may have found they're not performing as well today as they were last week, even though they're not aware of a penalty. Search marketers soon get the hang of what Google's latest tweak is about and change tack slightly to accommodate it. The "mobilegeddon" update was flagged up two months in advance, though. Strangely, for Google, the search giant gave fair warning of what was to come.

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To be honest, if you didn't have a mobile-friendly "responsive" Web site already built in February, then you can't really bemoan those that did, or have built one in the meantime, now doing better in SEO than you.

I was pretty horrified, and so blogged recently that there were two way of looking at the statistics -- four in five of the UK's top 250 brands are mobile-optimised or that this leaves one in five who are not.

Techcrunch has similarly posted an article that points out that nearly half of the Fortune 500 failed its mobile-ready test.

So there's a very blunt message from the world of marketing today. It's right there on the front page of Google, and it will delivered by brand marketers cheering as they look at their responsive Web site as high up as they dare hope it may appear or by hitting the dreaded page "2" or "Next" arrow. 

We were forewarned about this day two months ago, and it really should have only come as a wakeup call to those who hadn't taken to heart that "mobile first" must be at the heart of digital marketing strategies.

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