Google's New Mobile-friendly Algorithm
March 26th, 2015

Prepare Your Business for Google’s Mobile Algorithm

by Rachel Nell

What in the world is Google up to this time? Some are calling it the Mobile Apocalypse, others Mobilegeddon. Here’s what Google recently announced that got the Internet buzzing:

“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.”

Their statement doesn’t provide us a whole lot of detail, but it’s sparked plenty of questions and theories about what to expect. Let’s break it down.

What Does this Mean? 

Simply put, Google’s new algorithm is rewarding mobile-friendly websites with higher mobile search engine rankings. So if your website is not designed for mobile users, you could experience negative impacts on your mobile search rank. Businesses with traditionally laid out websites with no interest in going mobile will have to rely more heavily on desktop-based organic traffic. What’s most astounding about Google’s announcement is that they shared the date their algorithm goes into effect. The search engine typically surprises the Internet with their updates—why the change of heart? By providing a date, Google is trying to encourage businesses to be prepared. Basically, it’s time for businesses to get going on mobile design!

Google’s announcement basically solidifies the fact that having a mobile-friendly website is crucial to rank and user experience. It should come as no surprise that accessing the Internet through phones and tablets has skyrocketed in the past few years. Mobile users now account for 60% of Internet traffic, which proves our long-held suspicion that mobile usage would one day surpass desktop users.

Will My Non-Mobile-Friendly Website Show Up at All? 

Don’t have a panic attack yet—your website won’t be wiped from the face of the Internet just because it’s not designed for mobile. Be prepared, however, for your website to decrease in mobile search rank. The relationship between SEO and design can no longer be ignored. And if SEO and search visibility is extremely important to your business (and it should be), then it’s time to amp up your marketing strategy, match your mobile-friendly competition and go mobile.

How Do I Prepare My Website? 

There are two routes to choose from: mobile or responsive. The universal “going mobile” does mean suited for any device, but there are options out there to simply re-program your website to be suited for mobile phones. Understand though that dedicated mobile sites are known for poorer user experiences and errors. For example, a business owner that has a dedicated mobile site and does a search on their business may see their desktop and mobile versions listed separately. Now there’s a risk of duplicate content, which messes with SEO and rank. And even if a user clicks on the mobile version, time is wasted pinching and tapping their screen to navigate the site. A responsive website is programmed for its pages to adjust to the type of device being used. You’re dealing with only one website, which means higher flexibility when it comes to maintenance.

The concept and benefit of a mobile-friendly website is nothing new, but many business owners are still hesitant about making that leap. As a full service digital marketing agency, Sage Island cares about how your business performs on search. Don’t wait for your website to take a hit from Google’s mobile update—let us build you a fully-functional, mobile-friendly website that successfully leads you to the mobile rankings your website deserves.

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