As we pointed out in our last entry, the world of SEO, marketing, e-commerce, and the web in general is constantly evolving, and the only thing that you can realistically expect over the years is change. This brings us to market trends for this year, and the years to come. The one that we will focus on today is the shift in influence and focus from desktop to mobile. Sure, we all know that mobile is becoming dominant, but just how much so? Will we see the end of desktop websites for good?
Mobile searches have already surpassed desktop queries
In 2014, mobile overtook desktop to become the dominant platform from which local searches were made. The ratio at that time was about 50/50. In May of this year, the final nail was put in the coffin when Google announced that mobile queries were more dominant that desktop ones in 10 different countries around the globe. This growing trend means that people are not only searching more on the go, but they are also choosing to search via mobile phones and tablets while at home, rather than getting on their desktops to make quick searches. It is simply a matter of time management and convenience.
The trend is expected to continue
This is not something that is expected to even out and remain stagnant. Over the next 5 years, major research studies expect the gap to continue to widen. By 2019, BIA/Kelsey expects the tally to be approximately 142 billion to 62 billion in favour of mobile. As the gap continues to widen, so will the spend. Compare these numbers: in 2014 the ratio of ad spend was roughly 14 billion to 8.7 billion in favour of desktop. By the end of this year the tallies will be closer to 50/50 with a slight edge to the mobile side.
Google will rank you with a mobile-only site
According to John Mueller, who said himself that desktop sites were no longer needed, Google will rank your mobile website on desktop search just fine. This means that if you dedicate yourself to mobile only, or at least put it first, then you can conceivably receive the same benefits. It will still work fine on desktop browsers – it just might look a bit awkward at first.
Even though Google has stated that you don’t need a desktop website, having one is still valuable at this point in time. Despite the ratio evening out over the years, there is still $12 billion spent on desktop ads, which is no paltry sum. There are still plenty of queries done on desktops, and plenty of people using the platform.
However, it is hard to deny that the trend is continuing to pick up steam, and that having two different sites increases costs, time spent, and energy used on something that might not even be necessary. It is important to think hard about whether or not you need that desktop site. If you can afford it, great! If you are trying to play it safe, then perhaps go without it. Either way, the death of the desktop site might not be too far into the future.