April 21, 2015 marked one of Google’s largest algorithm updates in history. Many people are referring to the update as mobilegeddon, feeling fear and upset that Google can control web content and use. Although it is not the end of the mobile world, businesses should adapt their sites to maximize the potential of the algorithm
It is time to take mobile seriously. The long-term effects of the update are unclear but one thing is certain: Google’s new algorithm will change the way we do business. Data from 2014 revealed that 30% of all searches came from a mobile device, while in the year to date this has increased to over 60%. This is why Google is changing its search algorithm to reward sites that are mobile optimized.
A site’s “mobile friendliness” will now play an important role in the way it is ranked and sites that are not mobile optimized will appear lower down on Google’s search pages. Mobile searching is growing at a rate ten times faster than that of desktop and business that do not have a mobile ready site may lose up to one third of their traffic. More than two thirds of Fortune 100 companies are not considered mobile friendly and this will have a huge impact.
Google will test for “mobile friendliness” the following way: the algorithm will scan each page on the site, checking for load times, responsive design elements, and mobile best practice. The most critical things to consider when evaluating the mobile-friendliness of your website are: text written in sizes that are readable without zooming, dies content fit the screen so that scrolling and zooming are unnecessary and are your links spaced so that tapping the right one isn’t challenging for users. Flash is going to be a problem too because it’s not commonly supported on mobile devices and Google will be holding it against sites that use on it.
Google will be checking every page but the algorithm will be applied page-by- page and not to the whole site. This means that as different pages become mobile friendly they can start to benefit from the SEO (search engine optimization) boost offered by this update. Google will also be taking into account the use-ability of a site, for example how many clicks it takes to perform certain tasks meaning that your site should avoid any excess steps for making purchases, bookings, etc. If you’re a business that is.