A couple of months ago Google announced they would bump mobile ready sites over classic web sites in search results. Google and Bing for that matter, attempt to list urls providing the best user experience first. Two key ranking factors are speed and responsive design, both important mobile first attributes, but also for desktop.
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
For the past 6 years I have adopted a user first development practice, one that places emphasis on speed, responsiveness and touch. This focus hydrated into specializing in high performance single page web applications, or what I consider modern web applications. This is an important distinction because not only have the devices customers use changed, so has the server layer. Today businesses need to be focused on thin web server layers, hosted in the cloud. The architecture I use and promote relies on a web based API with a very thin web server layer utilizing a NoSQL data store.
My front-ends are single page applications, but what is distinctive is they are fast. They are faster than native applications by a long shot. They are responsive and work across all device sizes. My applications are fluid, thus make the web behave like a native application. All of these attributes give my clients and applications distinct advantages in the consumer and line of business space.
Today over 60% of search traffic originates from a mobile class device. Unfortunately most businesses ignore this important statistic. Mobile has introduce many interested problems for web architecture. No longer can you assume a high speed Internet connection and a large monitor, but you have to assume the worst case scenario. This scenario is a slow 3G connection (think Sprint 3G) and a cheap Android handset.
Touch adds another layer to the user experience. You MUST have large touch points and large, legible text with adequate margins. Simple evaluations continue to show business, especially enterprise class, fail to understand these modern requirements. Their sites are slow, non-responsive and not geared to handle touch.
My experience over the past 5-6 years has been frustrating when dealing with enterprises. They are either handcuffed by short-sighted management or developers more interested in code patterns than what customers want. This has created an opportunity for businesses that want to properly create modern web applications. Again a proper modern web application is one that is fast, responsive and touch friendly. This means it must have a small footprint, be designed to leverage any screen size and provide a UI that is easy to touch and trigger desired actions.
Failing to deliver a modern web solution could now mean going out of business, especially if your business relies on search engine rankings. If you need help or want a consultation, please contact me. Today, April 21 is the beginning of Mobilegeddon, or the end of the classic web.