Over the last couple of years any blogger who has paid attention to their analytics will know that how people are reading blogs is changing.
No longer are people simply arriving on your blog on their desktop computer or laptop but on tablets, mobile phones and more.
Today I took a look at the change in how people arrive on my blog (Digital Photography School) over last 3 years.
I doubt the results will surprise anyone.
The growth in mobile/tablet traffic has been remarkable.
When I look at the last period in the chart in more detail and look at just this month (November) the trend continues
Another month or two and we’ll be hitting a 50/50 split of those on desktops and those on mobile devices.
Every blogger I speak with tells me a similar story. While the breakdown might vary a little the day is coming (if it hasn’t already) where most bloggers will have more readers consuming content on mobile devices than desktop.
Google Launch Mobile Friendly Tags and Testing Tool
Google have been encouraging those with websites to make them mobile friendly for a year or more now but in the last week Google made an interesting announcement that is aimed at twisting the arm of those with sites even more.
They announced that they’ll be rolling out ‘tags’ in search results that mark sites as ‘mobile-friendly’. In the coming weeks when you search Google you’ll start seeing this next to those sites Googlebot considers to be fit for mobile consumption.
What makes a mobile friendly site in Googlebot’s eyes? What it is looking for is sites that:
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
- Uses text that is readable without zooming
- Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
Google also made available an easy to use ‘test’ that enables us to add our URL and test if our blog fits the criteria.
Simply plug in your URL and it’ll analyse your site and give you a tick of approval or a cross with suggestions on how to fix any problems
Google to Start using Mobile-Friendly Criteria in Ranking Sites
Also of interest in Google’s announcement this week is this line:
We are also experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal.
Take note: Google are officially letting us know that if your site isn’t mobile friendly that it could hurt how your site is ranked in Google.
Note: last year we completely redesigned Digital Photography School with a mobile friendly responsive design.
We’ve also gradually been rolling out responsive designs on ProBlogger.com, ProBloggerEvents.com and in the coming month hope to finish overhauling the ProBlogger suite of sites by making ProBlogger.net and our Job boards similarly design. It’s a big job but well worth the effort!