April 21st is armageddon for business not ready for mobile 26 Mar 2015
Google has always made their guidelines strict but when it comes to having mobile friendly sites it has given a certain wide berth of how it affects your rankings
Other than adding a mobile friendly tag the rules have not been enforced, also due to an ambiguity of what google wants and prefers it has always been something that business owners have postponed or ignored..
It has not vastly affected search results in the past, so has not been so important.
Starting April 21, that’s all going to change.
What you MUST do to Maximize Your Company's Mobile Strategy
Google has specified in many posts and blogs of what these changes are and how it will affect business rankings. Starting on April 21, this new algorithm will be gradually rolled out worldwide, affecting mobile searches in all languages all over the world.
The last big changes named panda and penguin both drastically affected search rankings and is stil lbeing tweaked as it is rolled out worldwide to 100%. This will be the case with the new "mobilegeddon"
We as a whole do not know the full impact of what is required in its entirety, what we do We do know is that it will change the way Google analyzes the content and friendliness of the content on your website, but we don’t know how it will affect the ranking and visibility of your content.
Given Google's comments, it’s reasonable to guess that the majority of non-optimized sites on the web could see significant decreases in search visibility.
Over 60% of searches are performed by mobile devices
By some estimates, more than 60 percent of all Google searches are now performed on mobile devices, so it makes sense that Google wants to capitalize on this traffic and ensure the best possible experience for its users.
In addition to the upcoming algorithm update, Google is already starting to roll out ranking changes based on information from indexed apps of signed-in users. This may have a major impact on how search results are displayed as well as what type of results are displayed. While traditional search results exclusively display websites, future search results could focus on apps and other mobile tools.
However search results progress, it’s clear that the companies who cater to mobile users best will earn the most visibility from Google.
How to prepare
If your site is already mobile-friendly, you won’t have much to worry about. However, if you’ve not yet implemented a mobile strategy for your online presence, now is the critical time to get it done. Follow the steps:
- Ensure the mobile version of your site is active and functional. Responsive designs are the most popular, but you can also have a separate hosted mobile version of your site. Google doesn’t have a preference, as long as mobile users’ experience isn’t interrupted.
- Ensure Google’s mobile bots can crawl your site. If Google can’t see it, it may as well not even be there.
Check each individual page of your site on a mobile device to ensure navigability. Just because your home page is mobile friendly doesn’t mean the rest of your site is.
Google additionally offers two tools you can use to check whether your site is mobile-friendly. First, you can use the appropriately named Mobile-Friendly Test to see whether your site meets initial qualifications.
It’s not entirely clear whether this checklist will cover all the factors the April 21 update will introduce, but since it’s coming straight from Google, it’s safe to assume it’s fairly reliable. Google Webmaster Tools also contains a convenient Mobile Usability Report you can run to examine your website as Google sees it. If you find any errors or discrepancies, you have roughly one month to get them all fixed.
This April 21 Google update looks to be the biggest mobile-related algorithm change we’ve ever seen, but I’d bet money that it isn’t the last. If you don’t have a mobile version of your site in place by April 21, your search visibility could be seriously hindered.
At this point, you may not need a dedicated app or all the bells and whistles of a dynamic mobile user experience, but beware: Google wants its mobile users to be happy. It’s on you to get the job done.