Mobile SEO Ranking Update
Google’s Mobile Algorithm Update
Google is making MAJOR modifications to its website ranking algorithm on April 21, 2015. The revised formula will boast ranking for websites that Google defines as “mobile friendly” or “responsive”. Websites that are not considered “mobile friendly” or “responsive” will lose ranking. Zineb Ait Bahajji of Google’s Webmaster Trends team stated the mobile friendly algorithm will have a greater impact than Panda or Penguin. (Google Panda and Penguin algorithmic updates affected SEO in major ways.)
Originally wanted to send emails to clients warning them “the sky is falling” and events were about to take place that could negatively affect their SEO and how they rank within the Google Search Results (SERPs). Instead took a deep breath and calmed down realizing clients would look to Webprem for solutions and panicking was not the solution.
Understanding Impact in Simple Terms
Google’s new formula won’t affect search results done on desktops, laptops, and most tablets, but will affect search results done on smartphones. The amount of mobile traffic your website receives should directly affect how much SEO ranking your website stands to lose starting April 21st.
Mobile website traffic usually falls between 25 and 50 percent, with this percentage growing. It really depends on what type of business you have. Restaurants tend to have a higher percentage of mobile traffic. Businesses whose clients tend to be younger are also likely to have a higher percentage of mobile traffic.
Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
Google has created a “Mobile Friendly Test” page that will analyze a URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design. If your website fails this test and/or has resource problems Google has resources telling you what you need to do to make your site mobile friendly. (Although you need to be fairly technical to understand these instructions.)
What Are Your Options?
Separate Mobile Website Optimized for Smartphones
- Mobile sites may have less content, different navigation, or other unique mobile only options.
- Allowing your visitor to switch between the mobile website and your full website is also an option.
Responsive Web Design
- Responsive web design is where the website layout changes (in a fluid like manner) based on the size and capabilities of the device used to view the website.
- For example, on a phone, users would see content shown in a single column view; where a laptop might show the same content in multiple columns.
- Depending on the current structure of your website this may or may not be an option.
- Applying responsive web design practices to your current website structure may be expensive and/or time consuming.
- Until the last 6-9 months responsive web design had been problematic in certain browsers but is currently working better.
- You may need to explore having your website redesigned using “responsive” web design practices.