They warned us the day would come, and now it's here...
You read that right. Mobilegeddon. The day when Google begins rolling out changes to its mobile search algorithm that will expand the use of "mobile-friendliness" as a ranking signal. In other words,the end of mobile search as we know it.
What does that mean?
It means that in the coming days we will begin to see significant changes in the rankings among Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for websites that are not optimized for mobile devices. And the really scary part is that such websites may disappear altogether from Google's search results for searches made on smartphones.
But why are they doing this?
Check your Google Analytics (or other) data and you'll see. These days 40-60% of web traffic is coming from mobile devices. This is not just true for your own website, but for search traffic as well.
Today mobile search is about a lot more than looking for good local dim sum. People are using search on their smartphones just as they would on the desktop, for all kinds of things, and clicking on links they find in the SERPs.
However, as anyone knows, too many sites today haven't given much thought to these visitors, and present them with something useless like this.
A pinch-and-zooming, swiping mess is what that is, and Google has decided it should no longer be sending us to these sites when we're searching the web with our mobile devices. And you know what? I agree. The only thing worse is finding one of these sites on the other end of a QR code.
So what can you do?
The first thing is to check and see if your website is mobile-friendly. Thankfully Google has made this very easy by providing a nifty Mobile-friendly Test tool that you can easily use yourself. Just type or paste the URL of your website into the form, click Analyze, and--presto!--you have your result.
Websites that pass the test produce a friendly, green success message. The others? They are presented with this:
Not pretty, you'll agree. But helpful! Because it lets you know in unambiguous terms that action is needed if you want your website to appear in the search results when people are looking for you on their smartphones. Thanks, Google!
OMG! My website is mobile-hostile!
If your website fails the mobile-friendly test you should get your webmaster, IT team, or web agency on the case right away.
Sometimes minor fixes are all it takes to get you back in the green, while in other cases you will want to look at creating a new mobile-friendly responsive website or perhaps a separate mobile-only version of your website (e.g. - m.netwise.jp) with content specifically targeted at mobile visitors.
Our web people don't do mobile. Can Netwise help?
Of course we can! We're expert in designing and developing both responsive websites and mobile-only "adaptive" websites. Whether you're looking for quick fixes to help get your website in the green or considering a new, modern responsive website design, we can help you get it done, quickly and without breaking the bank.
Want to talk?
Send us the details using our simple Project Planner and we'll take a look at your website let you know how we can help.
Want to learn more about mobilegeddon and the changes it will bring? Here are some links to help you get started:
Google's 'mobilegeddon' will shake up search results (The Guardian)
Nice Q&A piece from Search Engine Land