Google’s focus on the Mobile Web is making apps less relevant, and domains more relevant


When Apple first announced the App Store everyone’s first thought was, this could be the beginning of the end for domain names. Fast forward to 2018 and it looks like the exact opposite has happened…not because of apps, but instead because of the popularity of mobile responsive design.

When the concept of “Apps” was introduced mobile responsive web design just wasn’t where it is today. Mobile sites were often clunky and hard to navigate, apps offered a much better mobile experience. Thanks to major progress in front-end design world (i.e. HTML, CSS, and Javascript) mobile websites now are almost indistinguishable from apps, and some brands are starting to deprecate their apps in favor of a mobile responsive site.

Google has also helped to accelerate this trend by updating their algorithm to actually rank sites better that load faster on mobile…and the change goes into effect this month.

Is your company’s mobile site quick to load? If not, don’t be surprised if its ranking plummets on Google search results. In July, Google’s algorithm will change so that slow-loading mobile sites will suffer the consequences.While this has been a call for action for quite some time, Google will now use loading speed as a metric for mobile search result ranking. (Source – Business News Daily)

But it’s not just fast load times, Google has gone even further to pave the way for the growth in focus on mobile responsive design:

As of April 21, there will be more mobile-friendly websites in your search results. Google Webmasters write, “…we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high-quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” (Source – DTelepathy)

These changes mean that companies are going to be more serious about their mobile experience than ever before. Rewind a few years ago and companies could say, “well our mobile experience isn’t great, but that’s why we have an app!” Those days are gone, mobile responsive has won.

This means that every domain investors greatest fear has been mostly dashed (for now) since it’s clear that every company needs a good domain name, whether they target mobile or desktop. Also, think a little about the apps on your phone. How many of them to you use regularly? The reality is that most people only use around 5 apps on their smartphone, compare this to the number of mobile sites someone visits and, well, there really is no comparison.

New research on mobile behavior released today points to the growing struggle that app businesses face in establishing themselves as a must-have download on users’ smartphones. Today’s consumers are spending over 85 percent of their time on their smartphones using native applications, but the majority of their time – 84 percent – is spent using just five non-native apps they’ve installed from the App Store. (Source – TechCrunch)

If you’re reading my blog on a mobile device you probably notice that it looks nothing like the desktop version. Years ago I decided to put a focus on mobile which meant killing banner ads for mobile users to instead focus on what matters – content.

So take a deep breath, it’s going to be okay, while apps certainly do play an important role in our lives, it’s really only a handful of apps that do. The web plays a much bigger role in all of our lives, and at the core of the web is domain names.

What do you think? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton