What does Google’s new algorithm mean for your website?

June 2, 2015

It has been almost four weeks since Google implemented its new algorithm, which uses the level of mobile-friendliness inherent on a website as a factor in its search rankings. This shake-up comes just as mobile Internet usage is on the rise. In fact, 45 percent of all organic Google searches now come from mobile devices. It’s estimated that by the end of 2015 there will be more than 7.7 billion mobiles devices worldwide, making mobile Internet search rankings more valuable than ever to businesses looking to engage customers online. The bottom line is that businesses can’t afford to miss this mobile opportunity.
To really understand how this change could affect your company’s search ranking, it’s important to know the distinction between mobile-friendly and mobile-optimized. To start, “mobile-friendly” refers to user experience. Google tags Web pages as mobile-friendly to let mobile users know what sites will work best for them. When a site is mobile-optimized it’s in line with search engine guidelines for mobile configuration. This can be achieved through responsive Web design, dynamic or bi-directional signaling, or configuration of pages.
However, Google’s new algorithm is mainly concerned with mobile-friendly sites. A mobile-friendly site should be designed specifically for smaller screens, allowing easy navigation via larger buttons, and should only display the most important information and content. What makes a site mobile-friendly? When users go to a website on their mobile devices, they want a site that loads in five seconds or less. There should be limited scrolling or pinching; the site should fit on the screen. Browsers want to access business contact information quickly and easily. A click-to-call button is helpful. There should also be links to the company’s social media profiles. Overall, the site needs to be easy to navigate and use from a mobile phone.
Google’s new algorithm is also based on a page-by-page analysis; some pages on a website might be marked mobile-friendly, while others will not. This is why it is vital that each page of your company’s website be mobile-friendly.
Every industry is buzzing about this topic, and, from what we gathered, mobile-optimization is something most website owners know they should do. Google helped a bit by pushing businesses to finally get on board and has been praised for putting users first. On the flip side, some say Google’s new algorithm hasn’t affected search results as much as everyone expected. They believe that Google’s initiative was solely for advertising revenue.
Was Mobilegeddon a ploy for advertising? We don’t think so. These mobile-friendly search results are real and create an equally real impact on your company’s opportunities to be seen online.
Learn the basics of responsive Web design here.

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