Google Pitches In To Declutter The Mobile Web

Danielle Geoffroy
Researcher
August 30, 2016

On their constant quest to enable users to quickly find the best answers to their questions, Google announced last week that starting in January 2017,  they will bury mobile websites where the content is blocked by intrusive interstitials. In other words, mobile websites that have pop-up ads won’t rank as high in Google’s search results.

 

We’ve all felt the pain of having to hover our finger over the  closeout sign of a large ad, before we can get to the content we set out to find. This frustrates us, and takes away from the immediacy we desire in mobile moments.

 

While this new ruling may be one step for Google, it’s one giant leap for mobile web.

 

In the past 10 years, we have seen the rise and fall and then flatline of mobile websites. In 2010 responsive retrofits were all the rage – with agencies bringing the tiny-ize desktop experience to the masses.  And today, Google claims that 85% of all sites in the mobile search results are mobile-friendly. However, with more than a billion websites out there, people are continuing to spend less and less time on the mobile web. And your app isn’t winning them over either – consumers spend the majority of their time in only 5 apps.

 

Forrester predicts global smartphone penetration rates to reach 91% in 2020.  So how do you expect to reach the majority of your customers? They’ll be going to your mobile website, but the jury's out if they’ll find any joy in it.

 

Need a drink yet? We do.

 

My colleague Ted Schadler and I are interviewing 50 companies to uncover how they go beyond responsive retrofits to master the mobile web. The results will be published in a two part report later this year. We’d love to hear from you, if you would like to talk to us about your experiences with mobile web. Please reach out to me at dgeoffroy@forrester.com.

 

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