Google's mobile-friendly algorithm coming April 21

Google’s Upcoming Algorithm and Search Result Change

I’ve been reading a lot of posts on various SEO forums this week regarding changes in Google’s algorithm and search results. No one knows for sure exactly what Google is up to. No one other than Google ever knows what they’re up to. But all agree that they’re up to “something.”

Some speculate that Google is testing algorithms around Panda or Penguin, or maybe Google is about to release a whole new animal. It’s all interesting chatter; at the moment.

There are a lot of complaints about page rankings going down while spam sites with spam links are somehow making their way up to the top of search results. Personally speaking, I’ve only seen one such scammy site in the number one spot last week when I was searching for something very specific. It was obviously a fake site, with spam links, yet there it was… first in organic search results. Go figure.

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Ranking Algorithm

With all the speculation about what “next big thing” Google is about to spring on the web community, one thing for sure is that they will be launching their mobile-friendly ranking algorithm on April 21st. And this, in the web world, IS a Really Big Thing.

Google’s mobile ranking factors will not only label your site as mobile-friendly, but will also use that to determine if your site should rank higher in the search results. According to Google, this algorithmic change will have a “significant impact” in the mobile search results.

Nonetheless, as big as this algorithm change is (bigger than Panda or Penguin), if you’ve been reading my newsletters, the new mobile-friendly label should be of no surprise to you.

The question is: Is your website ready for this change?

If at least half of the traffic to your site is coming from mobile devices (which most likely is) and your site does not meet Google’s “mobile-friendly” requirements, don’t be surprised if your site ends up in Google’s black hole of material possessions when it comes to searches via a mobile device.

3 Things You Need to Know

  1. The algorithm will start rolling out on April 21st and will take a few days to a week to complete. Make sure your site is ready BEFORE “Mobilegeddon” hits on April 21st. (At least Google is giving us time to file our income taxes first.)
  2. Either your site is mobile responsive, or it’s not. There are no levels of mobile-friendliness.
  3. You can check to see if your web pages are getting the “mobile-friendly” label simply by doing a search using your Smartphone. You’ll see the words”Mobile-friendly” immediately to the left of the search results.

One of the main questions I’ve been asked about this upcoming change is: If I can see and use my site just fine on my smartphone does that mean it’s mobile-friendly?

That depends on what you mean by “just fine.”

Just because you can SEE your site on your smartphone doesn’t automatically equate to it being mobile-friendly. Do you have to scroll sideways to see the page? Or zoom in so that you can read the extremely small text, or to be able to click on the navigation links? If you answered Yes to these questions your site will not meet Google’s mobile-friendly test.  Contact me today to find out how you can best get your site ready for the upcoming change. If you care about getting traffic to your site, don’t put this off until “one of these days.”