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PC sales heading south, Mobile device sales heading north. But is your website mobile friendly? Google is watching!

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The tide is turning…

the shift to mobile is underway

Manufacturers of PC and laptops have suffered the largest drop in sales with shipments declining 13.9% according to IDC. Dell profits have plummeted 18% as their PC sales slump. In contrast sales of smartphones and mobile devices are rising.

Interestingly a Google/Nielsen study showed that 77% of mobile searches took place despite the fact that a laptop was also available. This would indicate that searchers are now displaying a preference for their mobile over the PC/laptop.

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This attitude is being reflected in customer surveys about websites. According to Google studies 61% of consumers will move on to a competitor site if your website is not mobile friendly.  Surveys have also confirmed that a frustrating experience affects consumer perception of your brand and many customers may never return to your business.

providing a mobile version of a business website has now become a need

Google has been aware of these facts for some time and announced the Googlebot-mobile crawler in December 2011.  The website googlebot is not only focussing on mobile websites but is able to detect smartphone friendly versions. This is all part of Google’s ongoing commitment to provide the best possible search experience to it’s users. There is anecdotal evidence that this is affecting rankings for mobile websites which are being served up in preference to competing desktop websites.

In the last fortnight their has been unfounded speculation that Facebook would launch a mobile dedicated to it’s service – instead the Facebook Home App was launched.  Amazon is however believed by the pundits to be planning it’s own mobile and the Samsung Galaxy S4 is due to appear in shops in the Uk anytime now.

Samsung continues to develop it’s range and has now launched the Samsung Mega – a mega sized mobile phone with a 6.3inch screen.

This points a further blurring of the mobile phone/tablet boundary. From a practical point of view though how big does a mobile phone have to be before it is impractical to keep in your jacket pocket or hold up to your ear to make a phone call?

This image from a report by Venturebeat shows what I mean;

 

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Links

Distilled article: tracking mobile… →

How mobile search affects your rankings →

Introducing smartphone googlebot – mobile →

Samsung massive smartphone : Venturebeat article →

IDC report on PC sales →

Dells profits slump – Guardian article →

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