April 21st marked another historical Google moment when the mobile algorithm update was rolled out. If you have recently noticed any drop in your search engine ranks, it may be that you were caught up in the recent mobile update. The update was said to be larger than either the penguin or the panda update of recent years which also hit many websites hard on their ranks. The new mobile search results now give more value to mobile ready websites (which perform well on business web hosting plans
) over the past standard of a non-mobile sites. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you need to get a mobile-friendly version. And do it fast.
Why a Mobile Update?
This year mobile usage outpaced desktop usage for the first time. This shows that the mobile market is growing and will continue to outpace desktop use. Mobile usage now accounts for 60 percent of total time spent shopping online and smart phones are everyone’s go to device. A 2013 survey discovered that 45% of SMB’s don’t have mobile sites. At that time roughly only 12% of those businesses had planned to launch a mobile optimized website in the next year or 18 months. Since consumer demand for mobile friendly sites has outpaced businesses desire to convert, the Google algorithm change for mobile should help encourage more mobile friendly sites from website owners. The change also affects mobile e-commerce
where consumers now demand mobile access and use. That means site owners with an eCommerce site need mobile websites to maintain sales, ranks and visitors. The mobile algorithm change is Google signaling and dictating that a high quality user experience is critical to rank.
How to Ensure Your Site is Mobile
Now that Google is giving more value to mobile friendly sites, you will want to check to make sure that your website is mobile friendly. Use the following link to see where your site stacks up on the mobile signals. https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
If your site has already been indexed by Google as mobile friendly then you will see that your site has the mobile friendly label in the mobile search results. If you find that your site isn’t mobile friendly and you need to catch up with the pack quickly then take a look at your website to see how many of these signals need to be updated. Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly will get demoted as the algorithm change continues to crawl and assess websites. While the initial signals after the update aren’t catastrophic the mobile update will continue which leaves you some time to get your site mobile ready before you take a hit on your rank.
Best Signals for Mobile Friendly Websites
Easy to View Content
Resizes for multiple screens and devices (mobile responsive)
Avoid Certain Common Mistakes
Slow mobile pages
What You Can Do!
Take the mobile friendly web site test
Use responsive CMS templates and themes
Build a mobile version of the site, the mobile user gets automatically redirected to the mobile version of the site (usually a subdomain).
The Mobilegeddon Aftermath
Now that the update has been out for a bit reports are coming in that 45% of businesses experienced a ranking change due to the mobile-friendly update.
While overall the changes in search rankings were on the minimal side, some sources indicate that small-to-medium sized businesses did see some major changes. Those changes over all were not extreme rank changes. The mobile-friendliness of your website is still only one of the many considerations Google uses to rank your website Now that mobile is outpacing desktop use the strength of this signal which may have been initially over-implied will continue to strengthen. Site owners should still seriously consider making their sites mobile friendly as soon as possible before the algorithm signal becomes a greater factor than it has been in its initial release.