I spend a lot of time working with Google’s Adword’s platform. It’s not perfect, but it’s still the standard by which all other online advertising platforms are judged. Some are better, others are worse (I’m looking at you, Facebook), but nobody is more important.
That’s why it’s so valuable to watch what Google does with Adwords. It’s usually a really accurate indicator of what the rest of the web is going to do next. For the past year or so, Google has been warning people if their websites aren’t responsive and mobile-friendly. Put another way, if your website doesn’t adapt to smartphones, Google Adwords will give you some friendly advice: bring it up to speed or else. What does “or else” mean? You don’t want to find out.
Think of Google as the mafia Godfather of online marketing. All of the other big tech players follow Google’s lead, even if they would secretly like to bump them off. And anybody who has ever seen a mob movie knows that when the big boss makes a request, it’s not really a request. It’s more like an ultimatum wrapped in decorative tissue paper. As long as you do what he says, it stays in the gift bag. When you disobey, he takes it out and bops you on the head with it until the Motion Picture Association of America gives the film an R rating.
And it’s not just Google. All signs point to an increased emphasis on responsive websites across the internet. If your web presence ignores mobile devices, you will show up later in search results, you will be charged more for clicks and impressions and you will get penalized by every algorithm on the net. It’s like getting that weird mafia kiss that marks you as a target for every up-and-coming wise guy in the gang.
Why is everybody making such a big deal out of responsive websites? Because more people use the web with their smartphone than any other device. It’s not unfair treatment to single out the sites that don’t stay current, it’s good business.
If you have a website that isn’t responsive, it’s time to clear your name with the online powers that be. Update and you’ll see that the web works better when you put users first.