Google rolled out its second mobile-friendly algorithm update May 12, 2016. By increasing the effect of the mobile-friendly ranking signal, Google promises to help mobile searchers find even more relevant, user-friendly content.
What’s the motivation behind Google’s decision to boost its mobile-friendly algorithm?
Google’s decision to penalize non-mobile-friendly websites first took hold in April 2015 when it incorporated mobile-friendliness as a ranking criteria in mobile search results.
Why 2015? That was when Google confirmed a key threshold had been crossed: more Google search queries took place on mobile devices than on desktops and laptops globally. Given Google’s obsession with user experience, it stands to reason that Google would seek to minimize suboptimal experiences for their mobile searchers. After all, Google depends on users continuing to “Google” any and all search queries, on whichever device is within reach; hence the most recent update. And rest assured, it won’t be the last.
This isn’t ‘MobileGeddon’... yet!
Although the most recent update is significant, there’s no need to panic. If your site is not yet mobile-friendly, you will see a decrease in mobile rankings and activity from Organic sources. And you will lose mobile visibility over time, especially if your competitors optimize their mobile presence. But your site’s mobile Organic traffic may not immediately fall off a cliff if you don’t yet have a mobile site. However, a critical question arises: why don’t you have a mobile-friendly presence?
It’s not about Google, it’s about you!
It may seem like Google is bullying website owners into complying with arbitrary guidelines, but they’re actually doing you a favor! The real issue here is your business: if you don’t have a user-friendly experience for your mobile visitors then you are simply not taking care of a real business need. It’s a Mobile First World!
That’s the true take-away from this year’s ‘MobileGeddon’. Go back to your team and ask: what is our mobile presence and experience like? Is it up to par? If it’s not, the least of your worries is Google’s mobile-first push; your real concern should be whether you’re undermining your revenue stream and customer experience.
Want to find out how Google ranks your pages for mobile-friendliness? Use the following mobile-friendly testing tool: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
Additionally, check out an earlier post by my colleague Christine Bennett. Here you’ll find a discussion of 4 Ways to Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Friendly.
Any concerns about your company’s readiness for a Mobile First World? If so, reach out to our team at HDMZ for advice. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an audit.