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April 21st, 2015 was the official date of what many internet professionals are calling "Mobilegeddon." This may come as a surprise to many businesses, but Google has been hinting at this new update for some time now. Starting in November of 2014, Google started adding mobile-friendly labels in search ranking, letting mobile users know which sites are responsive and which aren’t.
They’ve also said that they will be expanding their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. With these new rankings, when you’re on your phone searching for anything, Google will begin showing mobile-friendly websites first. For those businesses with mobile apps, those are already being indexed and are given priority over mobile-friendly websites in search ranking as well.
Google’s main mission has always been to deliver content that is relevant to its’ users. This makes sure that they find what they’re looking for and have a great experience while doing so. On average, 88% of smartphone traffic comes from local search, which is any search within a defined geographical region, such as "custom software development in baton rouge." In order to enhance the search experience for their users, Google knows that search queries have to be optimized to where their users are.
NOTE: This new search algorithm will not affect desktop or tablet search, only searches on smartphones.
Relevant content - Content on a website that is engaging, entertaining, or pertinent to the user.
In order to be engaging and pertinent to a search user, content needs to be adapted to their device. Since applying the mobile-friendly labels on search, many internet professionals have wondered what next steps they will take and what the changes will have to be made to bring searchability to the next level. Well, Google didn’t waste any time in announcing their update to search rankings:
As I mentioned above, when you Google something while on your phone, you will be shown mobile-friendly businesses first, therefore adding another piece to the SEO puzzle. Google handles over 3.5 billion searches per day worldwide, which means that about 2.8 billion searches are on smartphones every single day.
They’ve already started indexing app content for use in Google searches. This means that if an Android user is logged into Google with a mobile app downloaded, any searches that match content in the app will show up first in search ranking above other websites, even those that are mobile-friendly. This is done to further enhance that mobile experience we talked about earlier.
So besides just affecting your ranking, what are the actual ways that your business will be affected?
Algorithms can make your website undiscoverable
If you’re like a lot of businesses, you’ve got a lot of competition, both locally and nationally. Once this change rolls out, your business website can end up being undiscoverable on search. What do we mean by undiscoverable? Well, the first page organic results get ~80-90% of clicks on average per search. Google Ads get ~10-15% of clicks and <5% click to go to the next page. If your listing ends up past page 1, your clicks are going to plummet.
Your competitors can get priority over your business in search
If your website ends up getting docked to the second or third page this won’t just affect your website negatively, but this opens the door to competitors getting priority over your business. Obviously, this can lead to less clicks, less calls, and less business.
Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check if your website is prepared.
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test shows you what your website looks like when on a mobile device. You can try it out on tons of different websites and see what happens. Any issues that need to be addressed come up and then Google leads you through addressing those issues.
Ask your Internet Presence Manager to see your website’s analytics.
This lets you know how many of your visitors are on mobile devices. You can look at the percentage of visitors that are using mobile phones to see your website. Without a mobile-friendly site, they will see the desktop version of your website on a smaller screen.
Start a checklist of items that need to be addressed on your website.
Gather up some information about issues that could be affecting your mobile search ranking. If you need help finding your start, we’ve got you covered with a free checklist to make sure your website is ready for Mobilegeddon.
If you would like to be guided through the process, simply start a chat with us (below), or call us at +1 (225) 910-8239.