On April 21st, 2015 Google launched its long-awaited-friendly algorithm update worldwide. This update is estimated to affect a large percentage of mobile search queries. As much of the population of the world continues to utilize smartphones to browse the internet, this update will allow us to get more relevant and timely results, whether the information is on a mobile-friendly website or a mobile app.
What is “Mobilegeddon”?
“Mobilegeddon” is the term coined to this brand new mobile friendly update by Google. According to Google, a website will survive this “Mobilegeddon” if it meets the following criteria as detected by their Googlebots:
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash.
- Uses text that is readable without zooming.
- Sizes content to screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom.
- Places links far enough apart so that one can be easily tapped.
Does Mobilegeddon Affect My Business?
If your business clearly meets all the above criteria then, you should be able to survive the “Mobilegeddon” and your business will not be affected.
What if you think that your website meets these criteria but you aren’t completely sure?
Google has provided several tools for you to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly:
- Check your pages with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test – this test will analyze any URL on any website and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design.
- Read Google’s updated documentation on their Webmaster Mobile Guide about how to improve your mobile site.
- See the mobile usability report in Google Webmaster Tools, which highlights major mobile usability issues across your entire site, not just one page.
- Check Google’s how-to guide for third-party software like WordPress or Joomla, in order to migrate your website hosted on a CMS (Content Management System) to use a mobile-friendly template or work with an experienced WordPress design company.
All these are tools given by Google that will allow you to check and be 100% certain that your website is optimized for Google’s new mobile-friendly search algorithms and that your business is not affected. But of course, if your website is not mobile-friendly & doesn’t pass Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, then there remains a high probability that your business will be affected and your rankings may decrease or be overshadowed by your competition.
What Implications Are There for My Website?
After taking the Mobile Friendly Test and it tells you that your website is not mobile friendly, then it means that it is time for you to do something about it to fix the issues listed. The implications for your website might not be immediate, but it very well could affect you in the long run due to the ever increasing usage of mobile devices across the web.
So you may ask yourself, how much of an immediate impact this will have on your business? According to the Huffington Post, asking yourself these two questions and answering them through Google Analytics will help you find out how much of an impact it will have on your business.
Question #1: Do you get much traffic currently from Google via organic (or non-paid) search? Take a look at your analytics to see your traffic sources. For many businesses Google search is critical. For other sites, their website is accessed more from links from elsewhere or direct traffic.
Question #2: What percentage of your current traffic is mobile? Remember, only searches on mobile devices (phones and tablets) are going to be impacted by this change. Someone performing a Google Search from their home won’t have this particular algorithm change applied.
Based on how you answered these questions for your website you can find out how necessary it is for you to update your website into a mobile friendly one. In the long run, everybody will have to have a mobile friendly website.
How Do I Get a Mobile Friendly Website?
Finding a company that builds mobile friendly websites shouldn’t be a problem. If you consider having the necessary skills and sufficient knowledge about website design, then you could even build it yourself. Google developers have even provided a guide about building mobile friendly websites, the do’s and don’ts, if you decide to do it yourself.
If you decide to hire a company, like our Cary SEO firm, to do it for you, then make sure that they have experience and that their previous mobile friendly website designs don’t just talk the talk, but really walk the walk, too.
What Should Be Included in a Mobile Friendly Website?
When building your mobile friendly website, you must thoughtfully consider what you want to include in your website. A professional website designer should already know what should be included. According to Google, if you were to do it yourself, then you should keep the following aspects in mind:
1. Make it easy for customers: Help your site’s visitors to complete their objectives. They may want to be entertained by your blog posts, get your restaurant’s address, or check reviews on your products. Design your site to help make it easier for your customer to complete their most common tasks: from task conception, to visiting your site, to task completion.
2. Measure the effectiveness of your website by how easily mobile customers can complete common tasks: Making a mobile site requires prioritization. Start by working out what the most important and common tasks are for your customers on mobile. Focus on consistency in your interface and providing an unified experience across platforms.
3. Select a mobile template, theme, or design that is consistent for all devices (I.e., use responsive web design): Google recommends using RWD over other design patterns.One of the benefits of RWD is that you’ll only need to maintain one version of your site instead of two (i.e., you won’t need to maintain the desktop site at www.example.com and the mobile version at m.example.com – you’ll maintain only one site, such as www.example.com, for desktop and mobile visitors).
In Conclusion, I Need to Update My Website, Don’t I?!
Yes, you do! No matter if you think that your website will not have an immediate impact, you should start investing on the update now. If your competitors begin to update their websites, yours will just be placed at the very bottom of the list.
Stay ahead of the game, and no matter which step you decide to take next, whether it is to hire a website developer or doing the update yourself, choose to go mobile today and don’t let the Mobilegeddon finish with your business!