Google has been encouraging webmasters for some time now to make the transition to mobile-friendly websites. Now, the day of reckoning has almost arrived for those who didn’t heed the warnings.
In an algorithm update that many are calling “Mobilegeddon,” Google has announced that starting April 21, they 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."
The announcement states that Google has chosen to make this change in order to provide users with the best search results. According to Google, “users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns.”
For Google to make this announcement preemptively and to specifically state that the change will have a “significant impact,” we can infer that this is a pretty big deal.
The announcement didn’t include many other details, and in fact we should be grateful we were warned at all since that’s not usually Google’s style with regard to algorithm changes.
So what does this really mean? First of all, if you’ve been putting off mobile optimization you’re running out of time to procrastinate. Globally, more 30% of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices and even Google expects mobile search to exceed desktop soon. At this point, it’s more than just a good idea to go mobile; it’s necessary.
Because Google will rank mobile-friendly sites higher in mobile search results, you could be missing out on a lot of traffic very soon. If you don’t make your site mobile-friendly, you’ll be seriously affected by this algorithm change. Maintaining SEO best practices is important and not heeding these firm, final warnings can cost your business big time.
If you’re unsure whether or not this will affect your website, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test or use your Webmaster Tools account to access the Mobile Usability Report.
For further questions on how to prepare your website for Mobilegeddon, contact CQL.
Photo via Flickr