Google has announced the release of a new algorithm that will favour “mobile-friendly sites”. The algorithm, to be rolled out on April 21st, will dramatically affect the Google rankings for all websites.
So you may or may not have heard of Google’s latest algorithm “Pigeon” update, and like most “normal” people, promptly added it to your too hard or care factor zero basket. If this is you, it’s now time for me to distill fear in you to get you to read the rest of this article. Ignoring this Google update may be a HUGE mistake for your business visibility!
A little about the new update:
Google released a blog post saying that “when it comes to searching on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results”, and has geared their new algorithm update “to make it easier for users to find mobile-friendly web pages on their devices”.
Here are the two most important changes Google has made, designed to help users discover more mobile-friendly content:
- More mobile-friendly websites in search results: Starting April 21, Google will be expanding their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages and will have a significant impact in Google search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimised for their devices.
- More relevant app content in search results: In addition, Google will begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, Google may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search.
Basically, in response to the massive increase in users searching from their smartphones (a total of 15% of all internet usage is via mobile devices in Australia, up by 4.5% on last year), Google will be increasing the weight given to mobile-friendly sites.
What does this mean for Wollongong businesses?
So how does this new update affect your business listing in Google? It’s hard to say, really. However, what we do know for certain is that Google and their updates are always in the best interest of those who follow online marketing “Best Practices”. So in the case of this latest update, their focus is on improving the search results for “Mobile Friendly” websites and apps.
If your site is NOT “mobile friendly”
Well, if your business website gets high search volume via mobile devices (anywhere from 10% up), and your site is not optimised for mobile devices, you may see a decrease in traffic as a result, and now is probably the time to go mobile. Easier said than done, I know.
Do I go mobile or not?
The answer is simply YES. Whether you do it now, or in 2 years, you are going to need a “mobile-friendly” website to compete in an ever competitive online market. With mobile internet speeds dramatically increasing and a growing reliance on mobile technology to navigate and manage our busy lives, mobile internet usage is just going to increase.
- If you are not sure if your site is mobile ready, use this tool to check.
- Check your analytics account to see how much traffic you currently receive from Google as well as other search engines. If you don’t have Google Analytics set up, contact your webmaster.
- The next step is to see how much of that search engine traffic comes in from a smart/mobile/handheld device. If it is high (10% +), you need to consider going mobile now.
It all seems very scary, and potentially costly I know, so let me ease your worried minds by giving you a tip; “as you run your business according to industry best practices, do the same with your online marketing”.
This is the best advice I can give you. At the end of the day, Google is simply a “referral engine”, designed to “refer” the “best” business to the end user, and the only way Google determines if you’re the best business or not is by scoring your site according to online marketing best practices.
For more information on online marketing best practices, see our blog post titled 3 ways to improve your Google ranking in Wollongong. Or call us today for a free online marketing audit.