Internet of Things and Your Website

The ultimate goal for the Internet of Things is for everything — inanimate objects as well as people — to be in constant communication. That’s the direction things are heading. You’ve probably noticed changes already. Your website can’t just be designed for desktops anymore. It has to be mobile-friendly. Mobile web use has been soaring for some time now, so it’s not news that your website should be set up for people on the go. The news it that your site will soon essentially be double penalized if it’s not mobile-friendly.

Starting April 21st, Google is changing their algorithm to penalize sites that aren’t set up for mobile use. So not only do you have a high bounce rate because your site is too hard to navigate on a mobile device, but your page rank will suffer in mobile searches too.

This algorithm update is testament to a continuing trend. People are becoming increasingly connected, and they expect a high quality web experience regardless of their location. This trend should only continue with the advancement of the Internet of Things.

The number of connected devices is constantly growing, and it’s not just tablets, laptops, and mobile phones that have become commonplace. Wearable technology, from Fitbit to diabetes support devices, is quietly present everywhere. Smart watches like those from Pebble and Apple are very popular, and it’s a relatively new technology. Perhaps your site will need to be smart watch-friendly in the future.

A smart watch-friendly website wouldn’t necessarily mean that you would navigate an entire site from a postage stamp sized screen on your wrist. It could just mean that a website is equipped to provide some type of service or connection to smart watches. For example, a medical website might provide a service to patients that allows them to upload heart rate, calories burned, sleep quality, or other measurement that is gathered via smart watch or some other wearable tech item. That data could then be monitored by a physician. That’s just one possible way that IoT could have an affect on a website.

When talking about the IoT, people like to bring up the proverbial refrigerator that alerts you when you’re low on juice. This fridge of fable is used to show just how connected everything will be. Most people describe the IoT refrigerator as something that simply sends you an alert or notification. It kind of functions as a big pager for juice. But what if you could navigate a grocery store website from a screen on your refrigerator. You could browse for different types of juice, and even purchase the juice to have it delivered. Maybe if your site isn’t fridge-friendly, you might get penalized by Google.

What if  your website needs to be car-friendly in the future? Buick just introduced in-car wi-fi, giving drivers and passengers a constant connection to the Internet. Many vehicles are already equipped with on-board computer systems. It’s not a stretch to think that people could be browsing your website from a computer mounted on the dashboards of their cars. Would a site then have to be car-friendly, or will responsive sites continue to work just fine when they’re accessed in a car?

Really, you may never have to worry about whether or not your website is compatible with your refrigerator; the point is that you can’t fall behind. The Internet is constantly, and rapidly, changing. The more people and things that are connected, the more change there will be. This month, sites have to be mobile friendly. Who knows what changes might need to be done to your website in the next year?

While you might be able to keep up with all the changes yourself, it might not be your best use of time. If you’re running a business, you’ve got better things to do than to keep tabs on all the happenings of the Internet. That’s what we’re here for!

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