Google "MobileGeddon"

Google's "MobileGeddon". Ensuring Sites are "Responsive"...

Google has now forced the issue of getting a mobile friendly website by beginning the roll out of a new and important algorithm change on April 21st 2015.  The algorithm change popularly and somewhat ominously dubbed ‘Mobilegeddon’ affects the rankings of searches made on mobile devices. Web pages that work and display well on mobile devices e.g. smart phones and tablets will now get higher rankings in the mobile SERPs.

Why The Change?

More of us are using our mobile devices for searches.  If you keep a regular eye on your website stats e.g. especially the Google Analytics >Audience > Technology section you will know that a very significant number of your website visitors now find and visit your website on their mobile devices. Mobile devices have smaller screens plus they can’t cope as well with some content and structure of web pages. In essence it is about getting your web pages to render well and quickly onto a mobile screen in a way that improves usability for visitors i.e. easy to read an and interact with.

For those who have already put a lot of effort and money into their mobile strategy e.g. because their target customers and website visitors are great mobile ‘surfers’ it could represent a fairer search engine results clean-up.

In any case Google are keen to stress that there are many different algorithms and there are many ranking signals in any web page, so although the change in search engine results could be “significant” much of the existing wisdom about SEO and producing great content still stands.

What Sort of Factors Are Being Considered By New Algorithm Change?

The sorts of things that the Googlebot is likely to be looking for include:

  • Whether the text is large enough and easy to read without the need to zoom in.
  • Whether there is a need for horizontal scrolling (a mobile unfriendly no-no).
  • Whether the links on your web pages are far enough apart so that a mobile user can easily tap the right one when using a small screen.
  • Whether you pages rely on software that isn’t common on mobile devices.

How Do You Know If Your Website Is Mobile Friendly?

Google has provided a Mobile Friendly Test for individual web pages here:

https://www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/