A panel discussion at the SMX Advanced search marketing conference on 2nd June reflected on Google’s Mobilegeddon mobile update six weeks on from its 21st April rollout and considered what comes next as the industry faces into a mobile-friendly future. The panellists were Gary Illyes, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst; Mitul Gandhi, Chief Architect with seoClarity; and Laura Scott, Strategy Lead for RKG Merkle.
Illyes cautioned against any thought that marketers should not be paying attention to mobile, citing figures that show the extent to which mobile has transformed the way people consume media content. For example, YouTube now derives 45% of its traffic from mobile devices – something that those engaged in video production will want to take note of. Illyes also said that Google is projecting 90% smartphone penetration in the UK market by 2020. The figure currently stands at 70%.
Illyes said that there has been a positive response to the Mobilegeddon update but that work remains to be done, given that the top tier of the largest sites are not yet mobile-friendly. This is due to the relative difficulties experienced by larger sites in making large updates in such a small amount of time.
Mitul Gandhi spoke about mobile search opportunity. According to the sample he has analysed, mobile search has been increasing at more than three times the rate of desktop, though it still clearly lags behind in terms of total volume. In respect of Mobilegeddon, Gandhi said he did detect an impact, but it was not to the extent that was expected, owing in part to the fact that around 75% of top ten search results could be deemed mobile-friendly by 25th May.
Laura Scott focused her presentation on ways to mobilise a website, noting that 46% of Fortune 500 and 29% of Internet Retailer 500 companies have not yet become mobile-friendly. To give an idea of how great an opportunity mobile is, Scott cited figures showing that 45% of organic search traffic seen by RKG Merkle to its client sites originate with smartphones. Scott emphasised that a good mobile experience is no longer merely an option.
Illyes labelled the Mobilegeddon update as “awesome” and said that Google’s wish is to announce more updates.