Surviving Mobilegeddon 2016
Mobilegeddon was the name given by web developers to Google’s algorithm update of April 21, 2015. The main effect of this update was to give priority to websites that displayed correctly on smartphones and other mobile devices. This update introduced ‘mobile-friendliness’ as a ranking signal – meaning websites that didn’t meet Google’s criteria placed lower in the search results on mobile devices. Screwing up any hard work that was done on search engine optimization SEO.
A week later, content marketing company BrightEdge tracked over 20,000 URLs and reported a 21% decrease in non mobile-friendly URLs on the first 3 pages of search results. A study by search agency s360 also confirmed the trend, ‘mobile friendly websites have gotten 32% more organic mobile traffic than non-mobile friendly websites’. Google received criticism, yet they had given the industry a two-month heads-up!
In May 2016 another update is incoming, and again Google has given a similar warning. This time, web developers should know what to expect, and you should too.
“If you’ve already made your site mobile-friendly, you will not be impacted by this update,” said Google software engineer Klemen Kloboves announcing the move.
So if your site is mobile-friendly, you shouldn’t have any problems with this update. But then if you’re twitchy reading this, and fear for your company’s hit rates, there is a simple solution. Google’s tools for webmasters give a quick and easy way to check your site pages (and those of your competitors – go on, you know you want to): http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/. From this, you get a snapshot of your site page and a warning of any issues. It will also give you a very clear and positive message if your site is deemed mobile friendly:
And then it’ll show you how it looks. Here’s how the ‘mobile friendly’ Toronto Star website renders after running it through the site:
Therefore with a mobile-friendly site and SEO strategy in place, the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper, can be confident that they will remain at the top of the page in search engine results.
However, if your site is not friendly, then you can expect a big fat:
Plus a list of reasons as to why:
But even if the webpage for your company doesn’t pass the test, Klemen Kloboves, does give some reassurances, “Remember, the intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank well if it has great, relevant content.”
But do you really want to give any inch to your competitors? Do you really want a company offering similar products or services to yourself, and one that utilizes a successful company SEO strategy alongside a mobile-friendly site while you don’t? Think about that one.
More mobile devices accessed the Internet than desktops in 2014, and the gap has increased ever since. The customer demands that they can view what they wish to view and when they wish to view it.
A mobile-friendly website is an essential for every company to develop a successful SEO strategy. So what are you waiting for?
Whatever you think of Google, at the very least, it will be impossible for you to say that you weren’t fully warned!