By this point the news of Google’s mobile algorithm should carry very little shock value. Since late February word has spread of the search king’s push for businesses to optimise their existing websites to ensure the greatest impact in search results, as on April 21 mobile search will be enforced as a ranking signal. Despite the search engine’s forewarnings and the gradual and inevitable shift towards mobile search, the nearing of this date has triggered a web wide panic with businesses unsure of how their site will measure up and to what extent they will be punished if it doesn’t. Well, we’ll say it again, fear not. If Google’s attempts hadn’t motivated you enough, we’ve provided you with some things to expect and prepare for.
First, since it’s known that rankings of business’ that failed to meet Google filters in the Penguin and Panda algorithm updates suffered lengthily punishments, it’s understandable that some be worried of what is to come if they don’t stack up to mobile expectations. Fortunately for those in question, this mobile algorithm is different, though your rankings will be impacted after April 21st, with the help of tools like the mobile-friendly test you still have time to make the changes.
While you scramble to get your mobile website in order you may be wondering how serious the repercussions are, and to be quite honest, they’ll be heavy. Google developers have stated they will have “a significant impact on search results.” With roughly 80% of the world’s 1.5 billion internet users using smartphones to browse, it should come as no surprise that Google is placing such a heavy price and priority on mobile search regardless of websites being able to operate smoothly absent of optimisation up until now. So if you’ve yet to adapt and your website is getting a lot of traction and conversions from organic traffic, expect to be hit hard.
But it’s not all bad and scary. With mobile accounting for nearly one-fifth of the e-commerce market this update should only help your business and site see higher traffic numbers and greater profit by allowing you to capitalize on the flourishing mobile marketplace. If you missed the search engine’s plethora of reminders or tools to set you on the right path just remember, Google isn’t the bad guy. Search is all about providing users with the quality and relevant information they’re looking for. If your website delivers that, Google is only seeking to facilitate the contact between your business and your consumers no matter which device they choose to use.
Here are some of the things Google will be looking for in your newly optimised websites:
- The scaling of fonts for smaller screens
- The use of flash which is often very difficult for mobile devices to read
- If elements of interaction are well spaced and positioned to facilitate use (buttons)
- Slow mobile pages and load time