Mobile usability has long played a role in Google’s search algorithm as mobile-friendly and responsive websites have ranked higher on Google search results. And while Google has been telling us to prepare for mobile for years, the ranking factor has always been ambiguous. That’s changing.
Google recently announced the allusive Google algorithm is undergoing a major change, and that mobility issues are at the forefront of that shift.
Google’s Big Announcement: #Mobilegeddon
Google recently posted this on their blog:
“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.”
According to Zineb Ait Bahajji, a member of Google’s Webmaster Trends team, the change will have more of an impact on search rankings than Panda or Penguin, two of Google’s most impactful search algorithm updates.
Why Now: The Rise of Mobile Usage
Search engine rankings tell us how easy it is for web visitors to find your website and in today’s world a lot of those web visitors are coming from mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). In fact, according to Comscore, that number continues to rise and today over half of all traffic (60% to be exact) comes from mobile devices.
When you look at how people use Google it makes sense that Google wants people to easily find content, regardless of their device.
What You Should Do About It
As a business owner, it’s important to create a mobile strategy.
First, you need to determine if your website is mobile-friendly. Google has provided a simple Mobile Usability Report which tells you if your site is mobile-friendly. Enter your URL and you’ll either receive a green light or a list of mobile usability issues. Be sure to test each page of your website: just because your home page is mobile friendly doesn’t mean your whole site is.
If you discover (or already know) you don’t have a mobile version of your site, it’s time to get to work. Beginning on April 21, your search visibility is at risk which could mean less web traffic, less leads, less conversions and fewer sales.
Contact the Experts
If you need help updating your website, talk to the experts at On Tap, a mobile-first web development firm. We can help make your website user-friendly, wowing your customers and staying on Google’s good side.
Contact us to get started.