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Everything you need to know about Google's latest update: “Mobilegeddon”

By Unknown, blog post 15/04/2015

Did you know Google’s algorithms are updated between 500 to 600 times every year? That’s a lot of changes. But they only announce updates when they’re going to make a big change to ranking factors, which is why people are quite scared of what has been dubbed “Mobilegeddon.”

Google has implied that all websites should have been mobile-friendly by April 21st, yesterday. Mobile usability is nothing new, so why is everyone so worried? Well, Zineb Ait Bahajji, part of Google’s Webmaster Trends Team, was quoted recently saying:

“The new mobile-friendly algorithm change will have more of an impact on search rankings than either Panda or Penguin.”

These are two of the biggest and most effective updates Google has ever launched. They put an end to spammy content and spammy link building. They changed search engine optimisation.

But this update is different. It simply can’t be ignored. Yet, according to data from Search Engine Land, 40% of the top 25,000 websites aren’t mobile-friendly. So is it as important as we think?

The answer to that question would be yes. Today, we’re going to give you the lowdown on the Google changes. These tips will help you make the mobile usability of your website the best it can be. 

Focus on User Experience

When it comes to a website, we know that the most important factor is the user. Everything needs to be designed to create the best user experience possible platforms. Whether you’re browsing on your laptop or smartphone. But more and more people are internet browsing via mobile. So user experience is what is at the heart of this update. Hence why Google is putting a big emphasis on mobile-friendliness.

What You Can Do:

  • Check your page speed. According to one of Google’s employees, page speed is not part of this update. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be considered in the future. There are plenty of tools out there where you can test the speed of your website, like Pingdom.
  • Got an app? Then add deep linking to it. This is what Google is using for app search results. It just goes to show that search engine optimisation isn’t just used for websites anymore.
  • Include structured data. When the Hummingbird update was launched, we learnt about the huge knowledge graph that Google uses. This is just as important for searching on mobile devices. Users ask questions and the knowledge graph is the key to providing those answers.

Focus on Mobile Website Design

Scanning the web on mobile devices used to be for when you wanted quick information or you were on-the-move. But now, people browse the Internet for longer on their phone than they do on their laptop, so a responsive design is crucial. A mobile web experience has changed and needs to be utilised effectively.

Google likes to use features in mobile search results that aren’t possible in desktop results. Like voice search, and GPS rather than IP address. This is what you could do to optimise your mobile content. The aim now is to make the mobile user experience better than the desktop one. Doing so will make Google very happy indeed.

But this doesn’t mean SEO isn’t counted. A responsive design doesn’t mean you’ll hit the top spot of Google search results. Google’s other algorithms still play a huge role with ranking factors. An SEO strategy is still crucial.

Don’t Leave It Too Late

The importance of a website being mobile-friendly isn’t really anything new. But for some, it’s taken Google announcing a deadline to get them to do something about it.

We know how important it is to keep up to date with all the latest digital marketing trends. But we also know how difficult it is. What would happen if you used every single technology that came out? You wouldn’t know what to focus on and would spend minimal time on a lot of resources. The ones to focus on are what keep appearing in the news and in every single article. Like “Mobilegeddon.”

Will Your Website Be Affected?

If you’re unsure whether your website is mobile-friendly or not, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. This will tell you whether Google thinks it has a mobile-friendly design.

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you can speak to one of our experts today to see how we can help your site.

 

Sources: Entrepreneur | Ice Nine Online | Search Engine Land | Google | Pingdom