Once again Google has updated it’s search engine rankings, this update is being called “Mobilegeddon” and it launched today. The update has an algorithm that will rank sites it labels “mobile-friendly” higher in the search rankings. Google is one of the most powerful search engines available so an update like this may cause some people to worry.
We first learned about Google’s plan for an algorithm to reward mobile-friendly websites back in February. Normally Google does not release information like this before they update, but they did in order to give publishers time to create a mobile website, if they did not have one already.
A webpage is eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label if it meets the following criteria, as detected in real time by Googlebot:
– Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like flash
– Uses text that is readable without zooming
– Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
– Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can easily be tapped
Google will be using this label as a ranking factor worldwide. As a result, searchers get “high-quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.”
Google has stated the update will “have a significant impact in our search results.” Keep in mind that this is only when you are searching something on Google via a mobile phone. This update does not affect a search from a desktop, laptop, tablets or anything else that is not a mobile phone.
“A lot of sites haven’t still invested resources into a site that works well on mobile, and consumers using the mobile web have been frustrated by that,” said Mark Ballard, Director of Research at Merkle | RKG.
This is Google’s attempt to try and solve that issue. Providing you with mobile-friendly sites at the top of their search results. If you have a lot of traffic coming from mobile and your website is not mobile-friendly expect to see a drop in your traffic. If most of your viewers are coming from a desktop then you should not see much of a traffic dip, in fact you may see an increase if your website is mobile-friendly.
For a checklist of things you will need to know and FAQ’s about this update check out this link: Mobilegeddon Checklist: How to Prepare for This Week’s Google Mobile Friendly Update.
Online services have been scrambling over the past couple of months to get a mobile website if they did not have one previously. Luckily Google provided pointers back in February to give companies time to get it changed because launching this new update.
Here are some pointers to use to test out your mobile site and potentially make it better:
1. Check if your site is mobile-friendly by running the Mobile-Friendly Test on your webpages
2. Get a full list of mobile usability issues across your site using the Mobile Usability Report
3. Refer to the Developer Guide for more information and tips
If your website does not currently get a lot of mobile traffic it would be wise to still check into this and update. You could see mobile traffic increase because you will have a mobile site while others will not.
(Sources: VentureBeat, Searchengineland)

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