We’ve all known this day was coming for some time now. Much like Mark Pincus returning to Zynga, tech giants gearing up to buy Twitter, and $20,000 Apple watches selling out in a matter of minutes, Google changing its search algorithm to favor mobile-optimized sites was inevitable. A much-needed shift to account for a world where 80% of all online adults now own a smartphone.
Over the past 15 years, Google has changed its algorithm roughly 600 times. Most of these tweaks have been minor, but a handful of the changes over the years have caused a significant impact in organic search results, causing brands and marketers to scramble. For comparison, the last major update in 2011, Google Panda, downranked roughly 12% of all sites because they did not meet the new criteria.
Many argue this recent shift will only affect small and medium-sized businesses. However, according to Forrester, 38% of all enterprise websites do not meet Google’s criteria under this change. It is important to note that this will not impact your desktop rankings. However, sometime soon the entirety of search will be through mobile anyway.
Simply put: If you aren’t mobile, you will be buried.
Eighty-nine percent of all smartphone owners worldwide conduct searches on Google.
Those are sobering numbers if you are a business without a mobile presence.
Here's where to start:
- Use Google’s Mobile Test to figure out if your site is mobile-friendly.
- Whether or not you are happy with your results, it’s a good idea to check out Google’s Mobile SEO Handbook.
- Before making any changes to your site, take some time to read through Search Engine Land’s report detailing the new criteria so that you understand the impact on your business.
- There are three ways to make your site mobile-friendly: responsive design, adaptive/dynamic design, and creating a standalone mobile site. Usabilitycounts outlines the differences here.
- Consult your agency on the best way forward.
If you are interested in talking with one of our UX Strategists about making your site mobile-friendly, reach out to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to read Google's full explanation of the changes.
**Image source: wearesocial.net. Check out the full Slideshare presentation for more information.