Search is still kind when it comes to driving new traffic and that’s no more true than it is on mobile. Thanks to search bars baked into every major launcher on Android, and search bars forming part of the fabric of iOS and other platforms, it’s no wonder mobile users make a lot of searches. This week saw the birth of “Mobilegeddon” the name some of giving to Google’s latest update to their search algorithms to favor mobile-friendly sites in searches made from a mobile device. It wouldn’t come as much surprise if it were discovered that many smaller websites will be hit by Mobilegeddon, but it’s more shocking when we find out that over 40% of Fortune 500 websites are not mobile-friendly.
This is a problem and in some ways we should be thanking Google for their recent change. It’s split roughly down the middle, with 52% being mobile-friendly and 44% not so much. TechCrunch has done some research and it appears as though change is slow. Last year, TechCrunch discovered that two-thirds or so of Fortune 500 websites were not mobile-friendly, at 52% there has been some progress, but not much. You could of course argue that many of these Fortune 500 websites that are holding out are more traditional business-minded sites, and ones not likely to be browsed by consumers. That’s not really the point though, and Mobilegeddon will affect all of these Fortune 500 companies as people do business on their smartphones, people fact check on their smartphones, and if a potential client can’t see your website because it’s not mobile-friendly and they get out-of-date facts from another mobile-friendly site then that’s not good for the brand.
These companies should be very worried and if alarm bells aren’t already ringing, they should be. Brandingbrand.com ran a survey of traffic for the top 100 mobile sites and discovered that 43% of traffic came from searches. Not only is that almost half, but just 14% was from referrals. Simply put, if you want to be successful on the mobile web, you need to have a mobile-friendly website. These Fortune 500 websites have missed the memo, and it’s about time they got onboard with these changes.