INSIGHT: Google moves to mobile-friendly search algorithm

On April 21, 2015 Google will enhance its search algorithm to better reward mobile-friendly websites when searches originate from a mobile device.

On April 21, 2015 Google will enhance its search algorithm to better reward mobile-friendly websites when searches originate from a mobile device.

The move is reflective of the extent to which mobile devices have permeated our lives and command a significant proportion of our time spent online.

We’ve already passed the tipping point where more mobile-originated web searches are made than on large screen computers. Google has taken this step to ensure its site rankings satisfy mobile users’ needs: fast to load and easy to navigate on a small screen.

Mobile apps are the “shop windows” for businesses today

With many enterprise websites designed to be responsive to whatever screen size device they appear on, the change in Google’s search algorithm will require enterprises to monitor how their mobile rankings are affected.

Enterprises should look at their app development process and ensure that app performance testing and end-user analytics gathering is included.

The recently published Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a Mobile App Development Platform Solution, 2015–16will help in selecting the right tools.

Metrics such as Apdex are useful to help quantify what is a “good” end-user experience, and analytics such as funnel and cohort analysis will help track the behaviour of a group of end-users.

When combined with A/B testing, these metrics provide a powerful way to optimise features and improve UX.

Mobile apps are the equivalent of shop windows for many businesses with reduced physical retail presence.

Poorly performing apps will tarnish the brand and may see the app dropped altogether: three seconds is a rule of thumb for the maximum load time.

Enterprises should therefore ensure their lines of business share best practices across the organisation – via a mobile centre of excellence, for example.

By Michael Azoff - Research Analyst, Ovum

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