Google’s changes are based on the idea that “users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps,” according to a post on the official Google Webmaster Central Blog. The coming update will place additional weight on mobile-friendliness as a search engine ranking factor, rewarding mobile-friendly sites and potentially docking un-optimized sites in Google’s mobile search rankings.
Google’s move to factor mobile friendliness into its mobile search rankings means that sites that fail to render an easy-to-navigate experience on mobile may lose their top placement in Google’s search results. The implication could be a large amount of traffic loss as some sites show roughly 50 percent or greater skew towards mobile traffic.
Those lacking Google-optimized or mobile-optimized properties or campaigns, however, will lose out; not just in terms of Google’s search ranking but in potential ways to connect with consumers who increasingly search for, compare, purchase, review or recommend products and services using smartphones.
Since the rankings are done page by page, one sub-standard page on a domain would be unlikely to inflict suffering on an entire site. Yet, the implications could be significant if a large number of pages failed to pass Google’s benchmarks.
Mobile is impacting all industries as users adopt more mobile devices. And, ranking in mobile results will only become more important year over year. So, a hotel brand who does not host mobile friendly pages, providing a poor user experience, will likely suffer greatly when this update occurs. A majority of search visitors are entering via mobile devices on hotel web sites.
Why is it important to hoteliers?
This update is critical to hoteliers looking to drive revenue online. In 2014, mobile bookings increased by over 36% while mobile revenue increased by 114%, an indication travel consumers are becoming more comfortable transacting via their smartphones. Nearly 21% of bookings, 17% of room nights and 15% of revenue came from tablets and mobile devices. If we include voice reservations originating from the hotel mobile website, more than 25% of bookings and revenue originate from the non-desktop channel (HeBS Digital Research).
If you are concerned about your site and want to discuss, please give us a call or shoot us through an email.
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