On April 21, in just under 24 hours, Google is set to release one of its most significant algorithm updates to date. The mobile-friendly algorithm update, coined “Mobilegeddon,” is far from the first significant algorithm update to Google’s search engine; however, it is the first time marketers and business owners alike have been primitively clued in on the exact date of release. In fact, Google began sending out notifications through Webmaster Tools to site owners’ portals as early as January this year.
As search continues to diversify across platforms and screens of all sizes, Google is addressing the need to have a universal experience for users with its latest update. While the measured effects won’t be known until the algorithm has fully rolled out and data has been collected in the days and weeks that follow, the outcome is quite simple to predict and summarize – sites without a mobile-friendly experience will likely lose rank and visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). For sites that already have a mobile-friendly design, or offer users a mobile version of their desktop site, than it can also be presumed that they could benefit from the fall of others.
IMI has created a whitepaper on the mobile update that goes into more detail about the change that Google’s own Zineb Ait Bahajjji was quoted as saying at SMX Munich will impact more sites than the Panda or Penguin algorithm updates.
How Can I tell if my Site is Mobile-Friendly?
For businesses that already engage in online marketing services, specifically SEO, this is likely something that your agency or professional has been monitoring and reporting on since an official announcement was made, or even sooner as mobile search had started to drive online marketing trends over the past few years.
For those without a professional resource, Google has made tools readily available to users looking to find out how the search giant’s algorithm perceives their site in terms of mobile friendliness. The first resource is Google’s Webmaster Tools. If you do not already have an account for your site set up, it would be highly recommended as it is an effective way to monitor key insights and get direct messages from Google for exactly these situations.
Another useful tool for determining your site’s mobile visibility status is Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. Simply input your URL and the tool will perform a crawl of your site and summarize its findings – including potential steps to take if your site is indeed un-optimized for mobile.
What Can I do if My Site isn’t Optimized for Mobile?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution for non-mobile-friendly sites. Many factors, such as your site’s code base and CMS (content management system) are factors that need to be considered when determining how to make the mobile-friendly move. If your site is already due for a refresh, this is a good example of a situation that could affect and even warrant that decision to begin now, as it may be just as cost-effective to design a new site as it would be to modify or transfer your current platform.
Of course if you have any questions at all, please contact IMI Vegas for more information regarding this important algorithm update and the potential impact on your business’ online presence. Our team of professionals will conduct a simple audit for concerned business owners free of charge.