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Welcome to Mobilegeddon? Analysing Google’s Mobile Algorithm Update


Written by Simon Geraghty.

Is your website viewable on smartphones?

Google’s Mobile Algorithm Update was rolled out globally on Tuesday the 21st of April, here we’ll have a look at what that means for your business’ website.

What algorithm update I hear you ask? Well since the 21st of April Google is now penalising sites that are not mobile friendly.

My site is very mobile friendly, it renders exactly the same on mobile as it does on desktop!

That’s all well and good if a visitor to your site has a microscope handy, but if they want to read about your products and services, contact you  or even buy something they may not be able to see or find those relevant details.

When your site visitor is looking at your website on a smaller screen, such as a mobile phone, the amount of your site content that they are able to see at any one time is restricted.

Making your website easily viewable on a mobile phone is not always as simple as adapting your current design to a mobile friendly one.  A mobile ready, or responsive design, is one in where your website pages automatically appear in optimised format on all devices used to access it.

Why are they doing this to me?

Google first announced this change back at the end of February and as a consequence have adapted the algorithms they use to calculate search results. These algorithms evaluate websites based on 200 criteria, mobile friendliness is just one of these.

Google have said that “As people increasingly search on their mobile devices, we want to make sure they can find content that’s not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens.”

The new algorithm update will have a larger impact than two of Google’s better known updates in previous years, Panda and Penguin. While these both focused on your site content the new update looks at your website’s overall presentation and appearance on mobile devices.

If your website is not deemed to be mobile friendly, or delivering a poor user experience when viewed on a mobile, you may then lose search ranking with a knock on impact in your organic site traffic and conversions.

The devil is in the detail: what are impacts of this update for your website?

Here are the known impacts from the changes:

  • This update affects your website, landing pages and blog.
  • However, it only affects search rankings on mobile devices.
  • It only applies to individual pages, but not entire websites.
  • This update has no effect on searches carried out from tablets or desktops.

According to Google  “non-mobile-friendly sites may still rank high if they hold great content the user wants.” So if your page has high quality content, but is not mobile-friendly, it may still rank high for the relevant search terms.

Does your website meet googles mobile friendly test? See: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

What you are looking for is the response: “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.”

Dot Dash has been ensuring that all of our new builds are mobile ready since the start of 2013. We are happy with Google’s Mobile Algorithm Update and feel that this should make mobile ready websites the norm for businesses.

We can do a free consultation on your site and look at whether it is optimised for mobile, just drop us a line at [email protected]!

Having a mobile-friendly site isn’t mandatory to rank on Google, it can only help. Is it ‘mobilegeddon’? Not quite.

This article original appeared as a guest post over on IrishTechNews.

Further reading on the subject: