Perhaps the benchmark of success in the corporate world is the inclusion to the Fortune 500 list. It is a highly regarded merit that counts a business’ performance based on total revenue—regardless of the industry they’re in or the scope of their business.
In some cases, the companies listed on the Fortune 500 set the tone in their respective markets.
One of the members of this exclusive club is Google (No. 46); and worldwide, Google is indeed setting the tone when it comes to search, whether on desktop or mobile. Speaking of mobile, Google will be announcing another noteworthy change; a major fold to their ranking parameters—Mobile Friendliness. Earlier, they already indexed sites with mobile apps to be boosted in the search rankings.
On April 21, the mobile search algorithm will start to push sites that are optimized for mobile browsers, hence the term Mobilegeddon—and for good reason.
According to Rebecca Murtagh of Karner Blue Marketing, Mobile already exceeded PC Internet usage in the US early last year.
For those with digital assets or have a significant presence in the Web, April 21 should be encircled on their calendars. However, does Mobilegeddon hold any weight on the collective minds of the Fortune 500 giants, with their proven strategies and mutli-pronged thrust on every conceivable channel?
First, let’s define what Mobile Friendliness is.
Basically, Mobile Friendliness is how responsive a site’s layout is rendered depending on the different sizes of mobile screens. The more responsive a site’s layout is or the more different-sized screens a site’s layout can accommodate, the higher the Mobile Friendliness rating. This means a much improved odds of a website to be found.
There are a lot of free tools out there to check for Mobile Friendliness. There’s Google’s Mobile Friendly Test and mobiletest.me. Or you can just play around with your browser window by shrinking and maximizing it.
In a TechCrunch article by Brad Ewald, they investigated the preparation (or lack thereof) of the top companies in the Fortune 500. And the results are quite astonishing. By crawling through every Fortune 500 website, they found out that 44% or 220 companies didn’t pass the Mobile Friendliness test while 20 yielded a ‘No Response’. They, most likely, didn’t let the crawlers through. All in all, that’s 10 companies below 50%–a rather miniscule gap.
Obviously, there’s a reason to all this. Fortune 500 companies won’t let anything go over their heads, especially with something major such as this. It’s just a question of relevance—is making an adjustment on their digital marketing strategies worth the effort and resources?
The offline brand awareness of these companies are very stout, thus the risks of not having a Mobile Friendly website are curtailed. However, most companies in the top 20 already had the foresight to make the necessary tweaks—even making separate sites specifically for mobile.
Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway definitely won’t shake in their boots come Mobilegeddon—they don’t rely online for their day-to-day operations. But still, this doesn’t change the fact that mobile penetration is at an all-time high and is projected to increase exponentially. Thus, a need still needs to be addressed some time, one way or another.
Nevertheless, come April 21 search rankings will never be the same. SEO managers will have to take into account this parameter moving forward.