Uh oh, it's Mobilegeddon! Your site may lose, well, pennies

Race to the bottom for shrinking ad revenues

"Armageddon" image courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures/Touchstone Pictures

Comment Google has adjusted its algorithms so websites it deems to be "mobile-friendly" will – from today, Tuesday – rank higher on the advertising colossus' search listings, if they are searched for from a mobile device.

Inevitably, the move has triggered gripes to the effect that businesses – in particular small online players – will be punished by the "Mobilegeddon" overhaul.

In light of last week's preliminary decision brought by Brussels' competition chief against Google's alleged abuse of dominance in the European Union, some commentators have characterised Mountain View's latest algorithmic tweak as an attack on SMBs that operate in the 28-member-state bloc.

However, while Google may indeed hamper the search rankings of many sites that are accessed via mobile devices, only a few have noted that mobile remains a tough place to rake in ad revenues – even for the biggest players out there today.

Which is arguably a key reason why some website owners have been slow to invest in the mobile biz.

In June last year, former Financial Times Silicon Valley scribe Tom Foremski claimed that "even Google" was "having trouble" with making money from mobile ads.

So, its latest algorithm switch may be bad news for websites that suck on mobes, but it won't solve the problem that businesses of all sizes face with shrinking ad revenues as the transition to mobile builds.

Google is clearly in a race to the bottom against the siloed free content ad platform Facebook and it seemingly wants to drag us all down there, too. ®


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