Here Comes Mobilegeddon
by Paul Slack
It’s time to hop onto the Google algorithm roller coaster yet again. Just about the time you have recovered from Penguin and made sure your Google My Business page was set up properly, now you must brace yourself for Mobilegeddon. While mobile usability has been a factor in ranking sites for a while, Google made this statement back in February:
“Starting April 21, 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.”
What does Mobile-Friendly mean?
Mobile-friendly websites are optimized for mobile devices. Proper mobile-friendly websites don’t require users to move the screen to see and read content. Many modern mobile-friendly sites are also known as “responsive,” meaning that they will automatically reformat to be user friendly regardless of the device. For example, the Vende Digital website sits on top of a WordPress theme that is responsive which makes it mobile-friendly.
Why did Google unleash Mobilegeddon?
According to Google, more than half of Google searches come from mobile devices. Ninety-four percent of Americans with smart phones use them to search for information. Think about it. How many discussions at the dinner table end up with someone grabbing their phone to look up some odd fact or to resolve a dispute…. “Did Star Wars come out in 1976 or 77?” Because of this Google wants searches from mobile devices to get relevant and easy to navigate sites in the search results.
What does this mean to you?
If your website doesn’t render well in a mobile device, you may see your rankings drop in Google. To find out if this is affecting you, Google has provided a useful tool.
I ran the Vende Digital site through the tool and here is what a positive result looks like. This is what you want:
Here is a site that didn’t do as well. This is what you don’t want to see:
What should you do if Google says you didn’t pass the test?
WordPress is the answer. You should find a qualified WordPress developer ASAP. WordPress is an open source website platform that has a built-in content management system. However, more importantly, there is a huge developer community that has produced thousands of themes that are responsive and mobile-friendly. We have used many developers over the years. We currently have VSELLIS working with many of our clients to make their sites more mobile-friendly. They do good work. Here is what their president, Scott Ellis, had to say about Mobilegeddon:
“The growth in mobile adoption has been underway for years and it’s incumbent on all site owners to create the best possible experience for their users. User experience is the simplest explanation for why Google is updating their algorithm. But no matter what Google does, site owners have to focus on creating a great customer experience at every touch-point, and a website is a big one. Mobile will continue to grow, thinking otherwise is just putting your head in the sand.”
If you are a DIY type of person, check out Google’s Mobile Friendly Guidelines website. On this site you will learn how to optimize your site for mobile, learn how to build a mobile friendly site on your own, and find other guides and resources.
Right now there is no way of knowing which mobile-unfriendly sites will be affected. More than likely this will impact mobile search results more than desktop search results. However, if you look at your web statistics, my guess is that you are getting more and more traffic from mobile devices over time. If your site doesn’t pass the mobile-friendly test then you will probably see a drop in mobile web traffic as your site loses position in Google’s mobile search results.
Wherever you find yourself on the Mobilegeddon rollercoaster, don’t worry too much. All things online are meant to change. This is inevitable. Beyond the Google Mobile-Friendly tool provided above, Vende can help you analyze your entire web presence to ensure you are ready for Mobilegeddon as well as other major trends in internet marketing. Let us know if you would like a complementary NO BS Website Analysis.