Google’s Algorithm Change Apocalypse (Unless You’re Mobile-Friendly)
On April 21st, the (marketing) world order will experience one of its biggest shifts in ranking since the conception of SEO. In a recent blog post, Google announced its new search engine algorithm, assuring the world that its effect on mobile search engine results will be “significant.” So significant that many are deeming April 21st as “Mobilegeddon.”
“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,” Google said.
With this alarming announcement, citizens of the web-design world are scrambling to their computers (because their websites don’t work properly on their mobile devices) to show Google’s new algorithm that their website is worthy of survival. In contrast, the owners of already mobile-friendly sites will harness the power of this new algorithm, a power that will undoubtedly carry them to new heights (in search engine result recognition).
Survival can be a struggle in the world of marketing, and this announcement only pays tribute to that. Ensure that the mobile version of your site is active and functional (at the very least), or your website will fall victim to the fiery depths of Google’s search engine rankings.
While this announcement is starting to garner a “Y2K”-like feel, nobody is speculating that jet planes will be falling out of the sky…but your outdated website might. Sites that aren’t mobile-friendly could see a dramatic reduction in rank and traffic.
If you’re late to the mobile-optimization party, you’re certainly not fashionably late (you’re just late, and that’s too bad for you because this party is awesome). More than 60% of all Google searches are performed on mobile devices, so it would make sense for your site to provide a user-friendly experience for that alarming percentage of people (and prospective clients). This shift has been long forthcoming, and the almighty Google was even kind enough to give out an early warning.
How can you join the party?
Whether your site is mobile responsive or not, you should do a full evaluation before the new algorithm hits. Browsers and devices are always changing, so you should be testing your site’s mobile responsiveness regularly to make sure it is staying up with these changes.
Your site may have a mobile responsive plugin or a minimal mobile version of your site that may not make it completely optimized in the eyes of Google. It's better you find that out now rather than after you are penalized.
If your site isn’t mobile at all, now is the time. Depending on your site, you may be able to add functionality on top of your existing infrastructure to allow it to be viewed on mobile devices. It may be better for your user experience and your search engine rankings to redesign your site to be mobile optimized at its core. If you have redone your website in the last 5 years it should have been made mobile responsive anyway. If you haven’t you’re long overdue for a refresh.
To find out if your website is fit for survival, check out Google’s mobile-friendly test. Or, contact Penguin Strategies for an in-depth analysis and unmatched guidance.