Google’s ‘Inside Adwords’ event was broadcast on a live stream yesterday, during which the IT giant revealed a number of new product updates.
These however took a backseat with Jerry Dischler’s announcement that Google had hit an inflection point where in countries such as Japan, Canada and the United States more Google searches now take place in mobile than desktop.
Google handles around 100 billion search requests each month, but it’s not known what the exact total made on mobile is.
What it has done however is inspire Google to proclaim ‘micro-moments’ as the source of the mobile-revolution. They also revealed that 91% of people use their phone to look something up in the middle of a task - Dischler explained that this could entail a user comparing running shoes in a store or looking up a cookie recipe in the middle of cooking.
Due to this, the customer journey has been distilled into short, instinctive moments, where their needs are served on-demand. These bursts of activity are what’s driving mobile - with convenience clearly an important factor.
So what are the implications of this?
Well firstly it’s meant that Google has changed its search algorithm to favour mobile friendly sites. Therefore, when a user searches for their cookie recipe they’ll be shown mobile-optimised sites before websites which are not. This has caused online publications such as Business Insider to label the move as ‘Mobilegeddon’ - with even the Washington Post unable to resist labelling the development as the next ‘apocalypse’.
Whilst it would be naive to suggest that this wouldn’t have an impact on traditional companies which have yet to implement mobile, sites which don’t rely heavily on organic searches, but more from links from other sites, shouldn’t be as concerned as they won’t be missing much traffic.
It does however seem that we’re getting to a stage where non-optimised sites will eventually be more and more ostracised. Making your website mobile friendly is not as easy as flicking a switch either, it often demands that a site’s redesigned and reconfigured so that it’s easily readable.
The desktop will remain an important part of Google’s strategy, but as recent developments demonstrate, it’s going to become secondary to mobile. With at least 50% of Google’s searches now going through mobile platforms, its users ‘micro moments’ will be what they want to focus on.
As well all know, Google’s change-up is only likely to be the start, as when they do something, everybody else is likely to follow.