What is mobile-geddon, and how can you tell how big its impact on you may be?
It’s a major change Google began implementing this week to the algorithm it uses to display search ranking, specifically on smartphones and mobile devices. Through this update, sites Google determines to be more “mobile-friendly” will get better rankings in searches done on smartphones and other mobile devices.
“Big deal,” you may say. “That’s not really a ‘-geddon’ of any kind! It’s only for searches done on mobile devices, after all. That’s still only a tiny portion of searches overall, right?”
Not so much. The share of total search done via mobile is growing exponentially; in the final three months of 2014, for example, 29 percent of all U.S. search requests were made on mobile devices. And, for certain businesses – restaurants, coffee shops, clothing/apparel, and just about any other kind of retail/brick-and-mortar – mobile search is of vital importance, as an increasing amount of people use their smartphones to compare products in stores and look for restaurants nearby. Beyond that, with the continuing growth of smartphone usage and our increasingly mobile lifestyles, this will become more and more important to more and more companies regardless of their industry in the coming years.
So what is Google looking for in mobile-friendly sites?
- Designs that load quickly on mobile devices
- Content that’s easily accessible by scrolling up and down – without also having to scroll to the left or right
- If a site features buttons for making purchases or taking other key actions, said buttons should be easily identifiable and touchable on smaller screens
The question, then: Will my site be reduced to the nether regions of the second page of Google search results by mobile-geddon? Google actually makes it easy for you to get an idea of any impact the changes may have. And if the changes look like they’ll be big, Google also has a handy step-by-step guide to get your site on the right side of the law.
For a lot of brands, it’s big changes like these that may be the “inspiration” they need to understand what people mean by the mobile revolution – and to embrace it wholeheartedly.