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How the New Mobile Friendly Update Dubbed Mobile Geddon 2.0 Will Affect the Hospitality Industry

In February 2016, Google announced that it will be making changes (link) on the 21 of April 2016 to the

ranking algorithm of its mobile search platform. What does this mean for Hotels?

 

The fact that Google gives preference to mobile friendly websites in Mobile Search Rankings is

nothing new, in general the update will have stricter standards on mobile friendliness metrics

which are discussed in detail via this video:

This update will only affect mobile search results (not desktop search results) and will have an

impact in all languages.

 

Here’s more on Google’s criteria for improving mobile­friendliness:

 

  • Avoid the use of Flash and other software that is uncommon on mobile devices (Adobe Flash

animation is common in hotel websites)

  • Provide text that is directly readable without the need for zooming­in
  • Size your content to the target display resolution so there is no need to scroll horizontally
  • Make links large enough and spaced out enough to allow easy tapping

­

 

Ensure your pages load quickly

This second version of Google’s mobile update changes will affect all types of businesses that

rely heavily on traffic sourced from Google Search Results including hotel websites. The

implications are simple, hotel website need to comply and their functionality should focus

strongly mobile usage.

 

A study lead by Expedia further supports the need for mobile responsiveness for the travel

industry, these are are some of their key findings:

 

­ 52% of millennial business class travelers book their hotels on their mobile devices.

­ Searches from mobile devices for hotel accommodation increased by over 27% year over year

from 2015.

 

­ By the year 2018, mobile users are expected to account for over 35% of total online bookings.

The following survey by the same Expedia survey gives insights into the role of mobile usage in

millennial travelers:

 

It is therefore very clear that mobile usage is a strong and growing trend in the hotel industry, a

mobile website with highly functional booking engine will lead to better rankings, more traffic,

and more bookings.

 

Methods of developing Mobile­friendly Websites

There are three basic methods of developing mobile­friendly websites. The three methods each

apply different techniques to try and serve different devices with their different display sizes.

 

1. Separate Urls

This method serves different HTML code to different web devices on different urls. The parent

page tries to detect if a browser is a mobile device and will then redirect it to a mobile optimized

page. This method is not very efficient.

2. Dynamic Serving