Last week, Google released its largest mobile algorithm update ever. The search giant is sending a strong message to companies of all sizes to shape up or feel its wrath. Google has publicly announced that the April 21st update will impact more websites than both the Panda and Penguin algorithms ever have.
I have no doubt that in the months to follow; we will see vast improvements in the quality of sites from all walks of business but for those of you who still don’t see the value VS investment, then this is for you.
I think at this point it’s clear that most brands have failed to develop mobile friendly websites even with the overwhelming mobile search statistics. But what does that really mean to you? Yes I’m speaking to you, the business owner who still has not implemented a mobile strategy. I know you’re wondering; is this just another scare tactic to get me to spend my hard earned money?
Let’s take a step back and look at this logically; Google makes billions because they give you results that are relevant to your searches regardless of the type of device you use to access the web. According to Forbes, Google’s mobile add revenue have tripled since 2012 to 6.3 billion in 2014. Wouldn’t you say it’s in Google’s best interest to keep improving the mobile user experience for its customers? We also know that Google changes its algorithm over 500 times per year. It’s not announced, its just happens! Google does not usually announce its algorithm changes, but they did with this one, letting everyone know that it would be “expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal”, giving everybody ample time to make the necessary changes.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been asked this question repeatedly. If I don’t have a mobile friendly site, will I lose my rankings? The answer to this is both yes and no. Let me explain. The good news is your desktop rankings will not be affected according to Google. The bad news is that when a searcher is looking for your products and services on a mobile device, Google will give priority to those with mobile friendly sites.
Now you might be thinking… that doesn’t sound so bad; my desktop rankings are safe, Mobilegeddon has come and gone and I’m still standing. Wake up! Again, in case you haven’t heard, almost 50% of searches happen on mobile devices. This means that as of now even though your desktop rankings are not affected, you will no longer be seen 50% of the time. Given how hard you’ve probably worked to get your first page rankings, why would you not invest in a mobile friendly website?
I don’t know about you, but half of my online traffic seems like an awful big piece the pie to be handing over to the competition. And lets not forget to take into account the advancements in wearable technology. I wouldn’t count on your desktop rankings being the end all and be all you think they are for much longer!
In closing let me say that this is just the beginning; as mobile search evolves we can expect to see more plays like this from Google as they work to achieve the ultimate search experience for their end users, you!
So take heed, if your website is not mobile friendly your web traffic is taking a hit plain & simple. Even though this update will not likely affect your desktop rankings, a smart mobile strategy will undoubtedly help with your SEO efforts. And yes, responsive web design is probably your best bet.
To find out if your website is mobile friendly, take the Google friendly test here
Or you can call the experts at WSI eStrategies today. We offer a full suite of Internet Marketing Solutions for all types of business.