For the first time (as far as I can remember), Google have announced an algorithm update that is going to severely impact how they rank websites, and it’s a biggie. 21st April 2015 could be mobile-ranking Armageddon, and if you don’t have a mobile friendly website, be prepared to see your hard-earned Google rankings plummet.
Sounds dramatic I know, but when Google specifically state months in advance, that they are releasing an update that is going to hamper rankings for many websites, it’s time to panic if you haven’t taken the necessary measures to please them.
Let’s looks at what Google have actually said on the issue:
“Starting April 21, we 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.”
You can read the full article on the Google Webmaster Central blog here.
This was announced by Google on the 26th February 2015, and they also have a Mobile Friendly Website tool here that you can use to test if your site currently complies with their guidelines. Google are taking this serious, so you should too.
This really could be a business-killer for companies who rely massively on good Google organic search traffic for getting new customers and clients to their websites and businesses. And let’s be honest, that’s most online businesses. Plus, if Google are doing it, it probably won’t be long before Bing and Yahoo follow suit.
Google themselves have stated that the algorithm will only impact on mobile searches, desktop queries won’t be affected, but and this is a big but… don’t be surprised if they tie this change in with new releases of their Panda and Penguin algorithm updates. Panda 4.0 was released on 14th May 2014 and the 4.1 update on 23rd September 2014 so a further refresh is on the cards soon.
Obviously, a quick look in your Google Analytics account will tell you how much of your traffic and customers you could be losing come the 21st April. The chances are it is a lot, some businesses actually get more visitors from mobile devices than they do from desktop!
If you aren’t mobile-friendly then speak to us as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more of a negative impact this could have on your business. We have a long history of mobile development and solutions, from responsive websites (Google’s personal preference), to bespoke mobile sites and apps. Click here to get in touch.