You’ve probably heard something in the news about Google making a big change this month to the way their search engine works. As of today (April 21, 2015), Google is launching a new algorithm that favors “mobile-friendly” web sites over non-mobile-friendly sites. What does that mean and what does it mean for your business?
Among other things, a mobile-friendly site should load quickly, adapt well (responsively) to any size and shape of handheld device screen, and the nav bar will adapt/shrink often to a single button that unfolds upon clicking. A non-mobile-friendly site looks the same on a desktop as it does on an iphone, for example, except much smaller and harder to decipher. Have you tried searching on a tiny nav bar, dropping down each menu to look for what you need? It’s very frustrating. If you are not sure if your site is mobile-friendly, test your site now at this link. Even if your site turns up as non-mobile-friendly, Google will give you many pointers on how to bring your site up-to-date.
For your business or organization, this new algorithm means that when someone uses their mobile device to search for companies producing your service or product, if your site is not mobile-friendly, it will no longer rank near the top of the Google search engine results as it may once have done. Perhaps your company web site used to appear in the top 2 pages of pizza delivery companies, but due to your site not being mobile-friendly, your site will no longer be favored simply because it is popular. It is important to add that Google searches carried out on desktop computers will not be affected by this new algorithm, so it’s not all bad news. The bottom line though is that if your company or service relies heavily on mobile users (around 60% of online traffic is now generated by mobile devices) then you must make your site mobile-friendly if you don’t want to lose ground to your competitors. Even if you are not too worried about this particular change, a mobile-friendly site is a good investment anyway in an age when people are moving more and more towards the handheld device over the desktop computer. This USA Today article goes into a little more detail on the subject.
Click on the image below for a great audio interview with an industry expert talking about this new Google ranking system. It will answer most of your questions:
Interestingly, an article published today (April 21, 2015) on cnet.com mentioned, “In 2014, Google’s chunk of mobile search revenue fell to 68 percent, down from 83 percent just two years earlier, according to eMarketer. So the company is making a number of new efforts to boost its appeal to the millions of people wielding smartphones. Last week, for instance, Google tweaked its mobile search capabilities to prompt you to download specific apps when content in those apps is relevant to your search.”
For a more in depth explanation of responsive/mobile-friendly sites, you can refer to my previous blog on that subject.
By Pam Muirheid, My Pawprint Productions