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Mobilegeddon: Are you Ready?

- May 5, 2015 - 11 Comments

You may have seen the news about Google changing their seMobile-Searcharch algorithm to account for ‘mobile-friendly’ results. Excitable folks in the news media are portending significant shifts and swings in search results, with some fortunes dashed, primarily due to the fact that those websites that are not responsive (those that do not re-size and re-configure depending on whether a desktop versus a mobile phone is displaying them) will suffer.

For reference, even just a few shifts in position for a consumer site or keyword can mean millions of $$ in revenue. Yet, the exact ‘weight’ that Google has applied to mobile friendly sites in their rankings is not public, nor are some other details.

The good news is that we have been aware of this change since February.  Knowing that 99.5% of mobile users will not proceed past the home page if it is not responsive web, we have been taking ‘mobile-first’ very seriously within Cisco.  As a result, all new web design and publishing over the last year-and-a-half has been built with a responsive, mobile first framework.  In addition, we’ve prioritized the pages and areas within Cisco.com and are converting templates, designs, and content to be mobile-responsive based on traffic and importance.

The challenge is that there are still legacy portions of Cisco.com that are not yet mobile friendly. This includes many of the product pages within the site (although 5000 product support pages are mobile-optimized).

We have a long way to go until all 500,000 Cisco.com pages, across all 85 country sites and 45 languages, are mobile-friendly. But we are making steady progress and moving forward by maximizing the  resources available while ensuring the highest quality digital experience.  While we are methodically moving these pages to a mobile framework, the long-term solution is to redesign and rebuild these pages with mobile in mind from the beginning. Until the transformation is complete, we estimate a 3-5% reduction on SEO traffic to these pages as a consequence of today’s Google change.

If you manage a web presence, you’ll want to move to a mobile-friendly responsive web design and implementation.  If you consume search and websites from a smart phone, you might notice a change in Google results and a more rapid conversion and broader availability of mobile-friendly web content. And if you are using Cisco.com specifically and need some assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out via click-to-chat or click-to-call functions on our pages (look for one of the following types of “contact us” or “let us help” offers).

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11 Comments

    I love that Cisco was ready for Mobilegeddon. I saw a fun quote from Scott Stratten (UnMarketing) that said if digital marketers didn't know their customers were on mobile we had bigger problems than just this change. :)

  1. Thank you for the heads-up Mark! I didn't realize that the change Google was making might impact the visibility of the Cisco product page(s) I am responsible for content-wise. Fortunately, I checked, and mine were definitely built in a responsive framework. They are all totally functional on my phone. That said, can't wait until the entire website is updated to a more modern and user-friendly look and feel.

    More: I was just at an event last night where the CMO of YouTube said that 70% of their video content is consumed on mobile devices. We're already in the mobile era... To the question asking: "Are m. websites dying?," I believe that they are becoming fewer and fewer in favor of responsive web for general content and capabilities, coupled with apps for specific / repeatable functionality. At Cisco we use a combination of all three to serve the vast variety of needs of a very diverse set of customers / partners / employees / others, and to act as a transition method for mobile while everything is in motion. In time, I think we'll see less of "m.cisco.com" and more of 'plain / straightforward' cisco.com (responsive) and really great, feature-rich apps.

  2. Any specific responsive frameworks you use or might use for all your 500000 pages? Also are m. websites dying?What is Cisco's take?

    Very useful blog Mark - thanks for sharing

    This is excited news for Cisco as we live in a mobile first world.

  3. Additionally for Cisco, it's about constant iteration and management of our App portfolio based on usage and engagement analytics. Building an App for everything is not the right approach either, a good App is costly and some user tasks are better served using Responsive web. Our strategy is getting to that 'right mix' balance point.

    This is especially true of content used for social media. When 70-80% of Twitter users access primarily on mobile, if an asset used for social media is not mobile-friendly we see less click throughs, fewer re-shares, and lower engagement. This also tends to hold true for Facebook.

  4. Could responsive design replace apps? No and not in the near future (mostly governed by Apple) The strategy is to have both from an experience perspective. An App is still considered a better overall mobile experience. Faster performance, off-line capabilities, GPS sensors, and the ability to use higher levels of phone functions gives Apps the edge over Responsive web. Daily use tasks like e-Commerce, social sharing, data capture, games are better served with an App. Responsive Web is really good for the occasional information seeking or researching (Google searching). Hope that helps..

      Definitely helpful. Thank you, Steve! I sure take advantage of the off-line capabilities within my favorite apps.

    Could responsive design replace apps?

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