It’s no secret that mobile phones are dominating the technology world. For the last few years, mobile technology has continued to advance at a drastic rate when it comes to capabilities such as mobile data speeds, powerful mobile phones, camera quality, ease of use and video calling. It’s now possible to do almost everything on your phone that you can do on a desktop, rendering laptops and PCs almost irrelevant in a percentage of users’ lifestyles. In 2016, mobile overtook desktop for the first time ever in a milestone in the technology world, illustrating just how convenient mobile phones are and how integrated they are in our lives.
In October 2016, Statcounter recorded a statistic that will have been steadily growing for the past few years – 51.3% of pages were loaded on mobile devices for the first time ever. In 2010, this percentage was less than 5%, and in 2013, it was less than 25% – displaying just how quickly mobiles have overtaken the use of laptop and desktop computers. Between October 2009 and October 2016, Statcounter records the switch between 100% of internet usage on desktop and 0% of internet usage on mobile phones and most remarkably, how they slowly align to the halfway mark over the 7 years:
Consumers are using their phone increasingly more as technology improves and it becomes more convenient to use your smartphone for shopping, searching and browsing the internet. Since the amount the internet is being used on mobile phones increases, it only makes sense that the search index should now reflect this preference for users.
Google announced in mid-January that it will use mobile page speed as a ranking factor in mobile search results. The internet giant will be introducing a new algorithm that will be specifically mobile-centric. This significant change will alter how sites are optimised for mobiles as it focuses solely on mobile search results – the better the site is optimised for mobile usage, and the faster it loads and the better ranked it will be on Google. This is a big change by the internet giant, as they aim to make the service they provide better for their users. They see people are using mobiles more and they are reacting accordingly by making their user experience better. Such is the power of Google that merchants and website owners will seek to improve their mobile loading speeds in order to avoid their mobile rankings being compromised as a result.
Eight years ago, Google only focused on desktop searches, but this is a change that Google has been promising for years, and now in July 2018 it will finally be here. In order to see how sites fare, Google is recommending that webmasters use the PageSpeed report in order to get an insight into how their site performs and use tools such as LightHouse to make improvements. Google’s Zhiheng Wang and Doantam Phan had this to say about the update: “The ‘Speed Update’, as we’re calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.”
If you’re interested in improving rankings, increasing your site speed or bettering how your site responds to key search terms, get in touch today!