By Warrick Sears

Get responsive to Google’s Mobilegeddon

Since heading out as a freelancer a good part of my time has been spent in the digital realm designing websites. I enjoy the process from a pure design perspective and I especially enjoy the challenge of designing responsive websites that look good and function well.

One thing I haven’t enjoyed so much is justifying why a site should be be responsive. I’ve trotted out the stats about Australian’s browsing on phone and tablet compared to desktop many times. Most clients get it, some seem skeptical and one accused me of trying to create three times the amount of work for myself when just a desktop design would do.

Now there is a new reason to get your site mobile ready – mobilegeddon.

As of yesterday (21 April) Google search will not look favorably on your website if it isn’t mobile-friendly. You will be pushed down the search ladder in favour of sites that are responsive and there isn’t a thing you can do about it. You can find Google’s official declaration from their webmaster HERE.

If you have a lump in your throat as you are reading this, don’t feel too bad. You won’t be the only one missing out on valuable search hits as around 66% of businesses in Australia don’t have mobile friendly sites. And it’s not just the small Mum & Dad brands either. Dominoes are probably scrambling right now to get their desktop-only clunker into shape, and to be honest they should have years ago. Anyone who has endured ordering a pizza from them on the phone will know it isn’t a fun experience.

The real losers in this mobilegeddon for me are those beautifully crafted sites that are closer to artworks than digital information portals. Companies like French advertising agency Numero 10 whose site is a gorgeous hand illustrated parallax wonder, but unfortunately won’t do them any favours with the worlds most popular search engine.

As an modern agency they should have known better than to have put form before function, but that is a discussion (and blog post) for another day.

By Warrick Sears

It’s hard to hate Google on April Fool’s Day

Have you seen Google Maps today? For one day only (April 1) you can play Pacman in your own town, on your own street! As a child of the 80s I love this.

A lot of people think of Google in terms of an online behemoth seeking to control the online ecosystem. It’s hard not to when you look at their vast ownership of all things net. This has the effect of making some of us suspicious of the company and others down right hate them.

BUT one thing Google do well is digital engagement pieces that make us like them. The changes to the search image for special occasions, turning the search image into an interactive piece you can play with or the yearly release of the best of Google Street View images. And always an April Fool’s gag. All these things make us smile and like Google just a little bit more than we want to.

There is no hard sell here, but there is an experience that makes you want to tell and share with your friends – like I’m doing with you right now. And I can guarantee you that your opening sentence will be something along the lines of, “Hey, have you seen that cool Google…”

It gets you spruiking the company’s wares and being a brand ambassador, unwittingly or otherwise. Good digital makes you the media and this is what Google does brilliantly.

Now if we can just get Pacman made a permanent feature.

Get responsive to Google’s Mobilegeddon
It’s hard to hate Google on April Fool’s Day