How Important is a Mobile Site?: Google May Add Mobile UX to Search Algorithm
This article has a somewhat dated title, but the content is very new. For years, we've known that mobile websites were essential for a business due to the rise in smartphone use. Everyone talked about how mobile conversions weren't going to happen if users had bad experiences with the scrunched interface of a desktop site on a small screen. The advantages of a mobile site were obvious, and there were a lot of businesses who followed the trend by building mobile sites. When responsive sites became popular, many companies started moving in that direction. Well, for those companies who didn't get on either of those waves, they might have to start now.
As reported by searchengineland yesterday, Google's newest algorithm may start taking serious shots at websites that offer poor user experiences on mobile devices. The logic is very simple. Google is trying to improve the internet, and they are trying to improve the overall user experience for their customers. In order to do so, they need more webmasters to push mobile sites on their clients. More mobile sites, in correspondence with the ever growing number of mobile users, will create a better user experience. So, how can they force webmasters to push for mobile? Of course; they add it to the search algorithm. When websites get docked for lacking a particular element, the immediate reaction is usually "FIX THAT ELEMENT NOW." When websites get docked for not being mobile optimized, you can bet that the masses will have mobile sites in no time.
Granted, this is still a speculation based on a few statements made by the good folks at Google, but we have every reason to believe this could be real very soon. "Why?" you say. Because Google's bots already have the technology needed to read user interface the same way a human would. The bots can analyze fonts sizes and button sizes, and compare them both to the size of the screen. The bots can also scroll like a human, and they know the proportions that should be used to optimize the experience for the user. The artificial intelligence isn't so scary anymore, but the impact of this algorithm roll-out on many SMB's could be terrifying. Do you think Google would do that? Will every SMB have a website in a few years?