Google's Mobile-Friendly Search Will Bury Your Mobile-Unfriendly Sites

Customer are mobile first. Is your website? Are all your webpages?

Google did something important for your customers today: it changed its ranking algorithm for searches on smartphones. If Google deems your web page mobile-unfriendly, then it will be devalued in the search rankings. Your page will be buried.

My colleagues Mark Grannan, Jennifer Wise, Deanna Laufer, Peter Sheldon, and I capture the problem and how to fix it in a new Forrester report: Don't let this good crisis go to waste -- use it to convince your company to make the mobile mind shift and invest in mobile-friendly experiences. I summarize the report here.


1. The digital world is web.

With 177 million active websites in the world and enterprises reporting 268 websites (with sometimes 10s of thousands of webpages), this amounts to 10s of billions of webpages that are either mobile-friendly or not. This is not a small problem. It's a problem with global scale and complexity.



2. Customers are mobile.

Our data is irrefutable: 2/3rds of the global online population uses smartphones. And 86% of US smartphone owners use Google to find websites.

Base: 1,680 US online smartphone owners (18+)

Source: Forrester's Consumer Technographics Behavioral Study, Q1, 2015


3. Most enterprise webpages are designed for PCs only.

We recently surveyed 135 enterprise decision-makers to find out they have 268 websites with only 38% of their webpages mobile-friendly. We think they have overestimated this percentage, and we know most smaller firms, non-profits, and local governments have much lower percentages of mobile-friendliness than this. The web was great. But now it must also be mobile. 

Base: 135 enterprise decision-makers

Source: Forrester's Q1 2015 Digital Experience Delivery Online Survey


4. Don't let this good crisis go to waste: Use it to drive your mobile mind shift

If you are a developer or a marketer, you are probably struggling to convince your company to spend enough money on mobile experiences. But anyone that cares about putting their information in front of customers, citizens, patients, voters, and students needs to think mobile-first. Use Google's mobile-friendly search pivot to convince them that now is the time to make the mobile mind shift, to make every page mobile-friendly. As my colleague Thomas Husson points out, The global shift to mobile-first is just getting going. Don't wait.