Google, with one fell swoop, changed their search algorithm and changing the lives (and livelihoods) of billions. Enter Mobilegeddon.
With smartphones becoming as ubiquitous as ever, people are increasingly using them for tasks that they used to do on their PCs, like search. And just as in earlier generations, whole countries skipped widespread landline networks to go directly to wireless feature phones, now whole generations of consumers around the world are entirely skipping PCs and directly accessing the internet from their mobile phones (whether smart or feature).
According to Akamai’s recent State of the Internet report monthly mobile data usage continued to grow exponentially (outstripping voice data by several orders of magnitude) with a growth rate of 10% just between the first and second quarters of 2014. Of that traffic, Apple Mobile Safari constituted 35.9% of requests and Android Webkit trended toward 32.6% of requests.
Now Google is clearly the leader in desktop search with an estimated 75% of PC search market share in January of 2015. Similarly, Google makes a lot of money on its search engine business, an estimated $44.5 billion.
As more and more of global search is going to be done on smartphones vs. PCs, Google has a vested interest to make sure that it provides an excellent mobile search experience.
The problem is that many websites were primarily designed for PCs. As good as smartphones and tablets have become, they are still very constrained computing devices compared to very affordable PCs which, in many cases now, can be had at price points not too dissimilar from top of the line smartphones, yet still have way more computing power and ergonomics that are much better suited to the design, development, deployment, and maintenance of website.
Unfortunately, a website that was initially designed on and probably intended for viewing on a PC will probably not work or perform as well on smartphone which has a much smaller screen and usually also has a much slower data connection via a wireless network. Consequently, all those big fancy graphics and cool animations, transitions, and effects that you put on your site will only wind up making a mobile user wait forever or may not work at all on mobile devices.
As a result of all this Google has decided to change its search engine algorithm in or to rank mobile-friendly website higher. Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly are going to get demoted in the search engine rankings.
Although Google announced this decision back in February, it’s going to catch a lot of people by surprise when all of a sudden they start seeing that their search rankings are dropping like a stone. A lot of businesses are highly dependent on their visibility in searches, and this has a direct impact on their bottom lines
Google understands at a visceral level that user experience is as important if not more important than relevancy. Several years ago, Google teamed with Microsoft to do a study on how performance affects user behavior and they found that a slow down of as little as 500ms can result in a decrease of 1% in revenue, and worse yet, that reduction will continue even after the delay is removed.
Consequently, Google is making these changes in order to reward business that provide not only relevant data but will also provide a good user experience when the customer clicks on a link from Google’s search results.
So what does all this mean for businesses? Well, unless you have tools to understand exactly how your website is performing for all users, on all devices, on any browser and operating system, it could mean a significant drop in your business whether it’s walk-in traffic to a local coffee shop are a major e-commerce retail site, bank, insurance company, government agency, or whatever else.
But don’t panic, AppDynamics has you covered with our Browser Real User Monitoring technology, which gives you real-time end-to-end visibility into every browser request, from any location, on any device, and shows you exactly how your website is performing and all of the factors that affect its performance from web page design (resource loading), third party content and APIs, to back-end systems from servers to databases to network infrastructure, we will identify the cause of the slowdown and show it to you in an easy to ready waterfall diagram so you can pinpoint the culprit, fix the problem, improve the speed of your page loads, get higher ranking, and drive your business where you want it to go.
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