Should you be concerned about Google’s mobile friendly update?
Google’s mobile friendly update is queued to go into effect tomorrow. Amidst the incessant stream of gloom and doom reports surrounding what has been coined “Mobilegeddon” or "SEOpocalypse" by the web community, we have compiled some of the key points and recommended steps regarding this update.
1. Mobile-unfriendly = lower ranking in mobile search
In essence what Google announced is that it will begin to rank mobile search results based on whether a website is mobile-friendly or not. This means companies without a good mobile website will suffer, as searchers on mobile will see sites with good mobile experiences ranked higher than those with no mobile or poor mobile sites.
2. Determine your website's mobile friendliness
As shown in the screenshot at the top of this post, you may have noticed how Google has recently added a "mobile-friendly" indicator to search results. If your site has this indicator when you see it on a search results page on a mobile device, then you are in good shape. We also recommend that you run your site through Google's Mobile-Friendly Test* to evaluate its condition.
3. How much impact will this have on my business?
This depends on the type of industry you are in. If your website serves a B2B sector and your mobile traffic is less than 5%, you may not need to make an immediate transition to a mobile-friendly site. However, if your site relies heavily on traffic driven by organic mobile search, it is very important to prioritize an evaluation of your website and consult with your web developer what steps need to be taken to make your site appropriate for your target audience. Since we provide Google analytics as part of our partnership with our web clients, we can easily take a closer look at how this update may affect their business. However, we have to keep in mind that this is only one of many factors that contribute to your ranking and the full impact of a change like this will unfold over time. Although Google does not divulge many of the details of their search algorithms, it has stated the "local pack" at the top of a results page will remain unaffected by the mobile-friendly update.
4. Should I just get a separate mobile site?
That is most likely not the best course of action. Google officially recommends Responsive Web Design, which is a method of web devleopment that scales your website dynamically based on the size of the browser window or device’s screen, providing the best experience possible to a large range of display sizes. This has been our standard approach for the past few years and we have assisted many clients in the transition to a more user-friendly and future-proof website.
We highly encourage you to contact us for a free consultation to:
- Examine your site's mobile friendliness
- Evaluate how much your business will be impacted by this update
- Map out the path toward the best solution for you!
* DISCLAIMER: We have seen some hiccups and false positives with this tool.