As of the 21st April 2015, Google will be actively penalising websites that are not mobile friendly. With approximately 30% of all internet searches coming from a mobile device, Google has inevitably decided mobile search is hugely important and this needs to be a ranking factor.
The Mobile Friendly Algorithm
Google algorithms often mean a lot of extra work for the SEO and digital marketing teams – Penguin brought about changes to the way we link build, Panda changed the way we use content on a website etc.
Finally, Google has given SEO’s a break and given the web design and development teams some work to do, with the introduction of a mobile-friendly algorithm.
What does this mean?
Simply put, it means if your site is not mobile friendly, your search rankings on a mobile device/tablet are at risk of falling. By exactly how much is still a mystery and there are contradicting reports, but certainly, it will have an effect.
- Google’s own Zineb Ait Bahajji quotes that the mobile-friendly algorithm will have more of an effect on the search results than both Penguin and Panda.
- However, Justin Briggs from Moz thinks the algorithm will impact less than 1% of his overall organic search traffic.
The real results and effects will remain a mystery until the release date, however, the extent of the damage can be predicted in a number of ways.
- How much is mobile traffic your site getting? If the answer is ‘not a lot,’ then dropping a number of places in the mobile rankings may not be important to your business.
- How established is your brand name/domain authority? If your brand name is well recognised and your domain authority is high, it is highly unlikely that Google will choose to penalise you based on this new algorithm.
- How competitive are the keywords you are targeting? If the keywords are extremely competitive and a number of businesses are jostling for the highest rankings, this algorithm change is likely to affect you more, especially if your competitors are mobile friendly. On the other hand, if you are targeting organic traffic and you are selling ‘chocolate fireguards’, chances are your competition is low and you won’t be affected.
This is a big change in the digital marketing world and the biggest release of an algorithm for a number of years. It should not be underestimated. Users searching on a mobile device are constantly increasing and a fall in the mobile search rankings could have a big effect on your site traffic. The deadline is 21st April… Make sure you are prepared.
You can test your site here: https://www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
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