Recently Google announced a big change to its search algorithm that will impact all searches made on a mobile device. Already in effect, this update boosts the search engine rankings for mobile-friendly websites. In reading articles about Google’s changes, there was a general consensus among those who weren’t in favor:
“Yes, sites should totally be mobile friendly. Its better for the user, its easier all around, duh.”
However, it is then quickly noted that a large portion of the internet has now jumped on the mobile-friendly “bandwagon” and suddenly they change their minds:
“Oh, well its pretty ridiculous for Google to just impose these rules, Google is too powerful blah blah blah, mobilegeddon(seriously?). Everyone is going to suffer!”
The reality of the situation: about 60% of all Google searches take place on a mobile device, up from 30% in 2014. It’s no shock to learn that, “all consumers have a propensity to abandon your brand if they are struggling to look at your products, make purchases or contact you when on your site.” When you look at it this way it makes perfect sense for Google to adapt and gently push businesses to do the same.
This new change was made effective on April 21. Google gave us some guidelines for the new algorithm so you can quickly see how mobile-friendly your site is. With the big change comes big questions. So let’s answer them all right now.
Yes, the new algorithm will take effect in real time.
Meaning if you update your site to be more mobile-friendly you will have an instantly improved ranking.
No, the algorithm does not evaluate entire sites at once.
It works on a page by page basis, so only the responsive pages will benefit from this mobile search update.
Yes, Google has provided some help.
Here is a handy test to help you make sure your site is mobile friendly.
No, mobile-friendliness will not be the only thing affecting your search rankings.
Content will always be the biggest factor.
No, the change does not affect tablets or other devices…yet.
With the sharp rise in mobile users it only makes sense that the algorithm will continue to evolve and adapt. But why wait? As devices get both smaller and larger––lookin at you, iWatch and 6+––it only makes sense to prepare yourself for all possible scenarios rather than waiting for further changes to be implemented.
As usual, it seems that Google knows best. When we put the user first, a better user across all platforms is the obvious outcome anyway. If you’re in need of stepping up your mobile game, don’t panic you’re in good company. Currently about two-thirds of all Fortune 500 companies do not have mobile-friendly sites. However, when you consider the fact that non-responsive websites lose up to one-third of their visitors, it’s pretty clear why you should adapt (pun very much intended). Give us a call if you need some help making your mobile users happy.