Google to Marketers: Optimize for Mobile or Else

Your company can no longer afford to believe that mobile is a thing of the future that does not immediately affect your bottom line.

Today’s user is different than those of years prior, and Google has recognized this shift among mobile users who are much more aggressive. Most notably, Google has added mobile tags to search results coming from mobile devices. You may or may not have seen these just yet, as they have not been implemented on all browsers. These icons next to search results act as a badge of usability for a mobile user looking for relevant, mobile-optimized results. It’s a signal to mobile users that they won’t be taken somewhere that will frustrate them.

That means the price of not having a mobile-optimized site has gone way up.

Since the iPhone’s debut in 2007, Google has given marketers ample time to mobilize their brands, and all the links that consumers can access your site from on the go. With the release of mobile search tags on the iPhone 4s, and the almost-certain implementation on the iPhone 5, Google has stated that it has waited long enough for your company to go mobile.

In the early growth of the smartphone, Google and other manufacturers have tried to compensate for those brands that were late to the mobile game. Apple’s mobile Web reader was the most direct way to make content mobile-friendly, as it bypassed any offers on sites and simply displayed readable text. Now, mobile tags literally mark an end to these companies covering for non-mobilized sites.

The user data collected by mobile researchers suggests an undeniable move to the mobile Web; however, this transition extends to Google, manufacturers and mobile carriers who are investing in the future of mobile. Mobile Web has been established as the backbone of a mobile presence, and mobile tags in searches may just be the beginning.

The reality is you may have had excellent SEO in the past and reached the top of Google desktop, but the game has changed and if you are not properly mobilizing results, you are losing huge monetization opportunities.

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, once stated, “If you don’t have a mobile strategy, you don’t have a future strategy.” The future of mobile is today, and it is critical to look closely at your company to see whether it will capitalize or disappear in front of mobile users.

John Lim is founder and CEO of Life in Mobile, a mobile Web and app developer.

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