Google’s newest update might not be named after an adorable animal like panda or penguin, but it could wreak havoc on your web traffic more than any update we have ever seen. Some are calling it Mobilegeddon. Others refer to it as the Mobilepocalypse. Whatever you want to call it, it’s coming on April 21st and you better be ready for it.
According to Google, “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” This may come to no surprise to some Webmasters since Google has been hinting at such an algorithm update for years. If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of sites that hasn’t been crafting a mobile strategy since the original iPhone hit the market, here are some things to know about the update:
- The algorithm runs in real-time.
- Mobility is determined at the page level.
- Tablets will not be affected.
- Responsive and exclusively mobile sites will be evenly matched.
This may seem like horrible news, but it’s not so bad.
Since the algorithm runs in real-time, if you miss the April 21st deadline you can still regain your rankings as soon as your responsive site is up and running. Also, since mobile friendliness is page by page you can focus your efforts on the most accessed mobile pages of the site. For some sites, this may only be the homepage. Tackling that page alone could salvage a good portion of traffic. Keep in mind, this is only a stop gap to minimize losses while you create a responsive site. If you’re not sure which pages are being accessed by mobile users contact OneThing Strategic Marketing Group or your Webmaster.
Not sure if your page is mobile? Here’s a tool to test the mobile friendliness of your site.
Thinking Towards the Future
– While tablets will not be affected on this update, it’s a good idea to make sure your site is compatible with all devices.
– Google analysts have hinted at a mobile sitemap coming down the pipe. Is this a shift in their responsive support? Only time will tell.