By Kevin O'Keefe

Google’s “Mobilegeddon” affects desktop search traffic too

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By now you’ve heard of Google’s decision to give preferential treament to mobile-friendly websites and blogs in searches on smartphones. It’s impact has been widely labeled “Mobilegeddon.”

Some lawyers and law firms have felt some security in their belief that most search traffic to their sites is coming from non-mobile devices.

Not so fast writes Joost de Valk (@yoast). First, more search traffic is coming from mobile than you think.

Whether mobile search is important, hugely important or incredibly important for your business depends on the market you’re in. Numbers differ but it seems in most western countries 50-60% of searches is conducted on a mobile device now, with that number rising every year. Not ranking well in those search results as a result of this Mobilegeddon update means you’re not ranking well for the majority of people searching.

Second, Mobilegeddon also indirectly impacts desktop search.

This Mobilegeddon update will probably not impact desktop search directly. But Google is known to use click through rate (CTR) from the search results as a ranking factor, which I’m guessing would be impacted by this change. Also: if 50% of searches happen on mobile, it’s a major discovery method. People can only share URLs amongst them, link to those sites etc., when they’ve found your site. This ties back to rankings, so this will impact desktop search quite heavily in the long run.

Both are huge for bloggers. An awful lot of content is consumed on mobile decices. The influencers of your clients and prospective clients  — leading bloggers, mainstream media, association leaders, heavy social media users — are using mobile to share content across Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Not only will your content not get shared, but your search rankings will drop on desktop searches if you are not on mobile. Social shares are signals that Google considers in search rankings. Content getting shared more is viewed as more valuable and influential by Google.

Whether you as a lawyer are a heavy user of mobile or not is irrelevant, the world is.

With Google’s Mobilegeddon you have no choice but to publish on mobile-friendly sites, preferrably on responsive design, Google’s recommended design platform.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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