The not-so-affectionately coined day of reckoning, “mobilegeddon,” has finally arrived today, which sees mobile-friendliness become a much more meaningful ranking factor.
The search engine heavyweight announced that the latest algorithm change will “affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide, and will have a significant impact in our search results.”
Mobilegeddon is expected to have a bigger impact than both Panda and Penguin, which affected 12% and 3% of search results respectively.
Google doesn’t often give a whole lot of upcoming warning about these updates, so it’s been a welcome change of pace for webmasters to have time to implement the necessary changes to their websites before the new algorithm kicks in.
So, why exactly have Google decided to implement this change?
Google has always professed their desire to offer web users the most relevant and high quality search results possible.
Research from eMarketer found that this year, UK web users will spend 2 hours and 26 minutes each day on mobile devices (excluding voice-calling), compared to 2 hours and 13 minutes on a desktop.
Google even estimates that around 50% of searches are conducted from mobile devices on mobile browsers.
With the shift in user behavior as people increasingly use smartphones and tablets to access the internet, Google has therefore had to adapt, understanding that in order to offer the best user experience, the websites they index and display need to be easy to access, browse and use on mobile devices.
Google’s official line is that with today’s update, “users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimised for their devices.”
Perhaps the bigger question is, will your rankings plummet if your site isn’t mobile responsive?
Having a mobile responsive web design does not have an immediate ranking benefit. However, if your website is not mobile responsive, then your competitors who do have a mobile responsive site are much more likely to be ranked higher in the search results.
Find out where your website stands.
Not sure if your website is mobile responsive? Enter your site’s URL into Google’s simple Mobile-Friendly Test to find out, where you can find out how mobile responsive each page on your website is.
It’s important to remember that this algorithmic change isn’t a site-wide one – mobile-friendliness is determined by Google on a page-by-page basis – so you won’t be able to find out a simple “yes” or “no” answer for “is my website mobile friendly?” just by pasting your homepage URL into this tool.
By linking yourself up with Google Analytics, you can even use your Webmaster Tools account to get a complete list of all of the mobile usability issues on your site with a bespoke Mobile Usability Report too see where you can make improvements.
Want to talk?
If you have any concerns at all about this change and how it might impact your website, the team at Fotofire is more than happy to chat with you.
Currently, all of Fotofire’s websites are designed to be completely mobile responsive.
Give us a call, fire over an email, or drop by our office for a brew and a chat!