Historically, Google’s algorithm modifications occurred without warning, always leaving webmasters, businesses and consumers in a terrible scramble to get up to SEO speed. This time around, Google has given us plenty of warning before their new algorithm completely changes the state and structure of their search rankings forever.
From the Google blog, “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact on our search results.”
What is the significance of specifically preparing us for this adjustment to their search engine? According to an early 2014 Nielsen study, US adults spent an average of 34 hours per month using the mobile Internet on smartphones, compared to only 27 hours spent on the PC Internet. Google is giving us a timeline to encourage those who haven’t already converted their Web sites to mobile to begin making the transition, because they’re playing catch up too. Mobile optimization is not just the wave of the future; it’s claimed the majority of Internet users for more than a year with no signs of slowing down.
What does Google’s announcement mean for you?
This means that you should work toward having a mobile-friendly Web site by April 21st because Google’s new algorithm is being built to reward search ranking to those sites with better mobile optimization. Apart from search ranking, having a mobile-responsive site makes it easier for your customers or stakeholders to “get what they want, when they want it.”
Scrolling instead of clicking makes navigation effortless, responsive design eliminates the need for manual zoom, the integration of the mapping function on your smartphone creates instant supply and demand, and the level of constant connectivity creates an unprecedented opportunity to connect with your target audience anywhere, any time.
The pros of mobile responsiveness go on and on, and by starting to optimize now, your company will have a leg up on the competition, who will be scrambling to optimize when they finally realize the necessity of the mobile Internet.
Why is being “mobile-friendly” so important?
Your audience knows that mobile access provides them with the convenience and speed needed to match their busy schedules, so much so that now, when users encounter a Web site that hasn’t been optimized to mobile, it leaves them with a bad taste in their mouths for that business.
According to a Google survey, 48 percent of users say that if a site didn’t work well on their phones, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business. In the same study, 52 percent of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company at all.
Reputation is one of the most important aspects of your brand, and your Web site is the most important communicator of that brand. And since the majority of users access the Internet via their mobile devices, these statistics provide exclusive and important information about the future of optimized Web design, where a Web site’s user-friendliness directly correlates to brand reputation and overall return on investment.
What can you do to prepare for the change?
Optimize for mobile as soon as possible; your brand’s reputation depends on it! And if you need a hand in making the switch, the C&C Web team is more than qualified to assess the problems and work with you to fix them in order to get your site ready for Google’s April 21st overhaul.
If you’re not sure whether your site is mobile-friendly, Google offers a free test to check for proper mobile optimization. Copy and paste your site’s URL in the space provided and click “Analyze” to get your results.