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'Mobilegeddon' and why it matters for us

Elizabeth R. -- Fri, 06/26/2015 - 9:16am

Story time: the other evening, my boyfriend and I were wading through our memories in an attempt to figure out the order of former attorneys general. Gif of man searching on his phone and then pointing to the screenAfter we both struggled to remember who was before Janet Reno, I grabbed my phone and Googled "attorney general." And that was it.

We've become more and more reliant on our phones and tablets, and mobile users are becoming a larger proportion of overall Internet traffic. Within the past year, the number of mobile users surpassed desktop users worldwide — and that's a big deal. On all official University sites, mobile visits account for anywhere between 10% and 70% of site traffic.

In response to the multi-year increase in mobile traffic, the all-important Google gods devised a new algorithm gives priority to mobile-friendly sites and pages in search results called "Mobilegeddon." It's a huge shift in how Google ranks websites. We knew this was coming, so we made sure all of the University's new website templates are mobile-friendly. We needed our sites to be accessible on all screen sizes because we want everyone to be able to learn about UL Lafayette — without being deterred by a cumbersome and difficult-to-use site, whether they arrive on our sites directly or by Googling us.

And accessibility is really what this is about. As an institution, we've recognized that we can't expect students (our largest percentage of mobile users) to meet us where we already are — we have to meet them where they are. That means accommodating for their needs and expectations, and that includes having mobile-friendly tools for them to use. Any time we add things to our sites, we have to ensure that these tools and information are accessible from all devices. If you ever have questions about whether your site and its contents are mobile friendly, reach out to the web team.