Historically, many of these updates simply tweak and refresh the existing algorithms with little or no impact on search engine rankings. As most webmasters and SEO professionals know by now, the next Google search engine update is expected to go well beyond previous changes and they are gearing up to make significant changes to their strategies.
Zineb Ait Bahajji, a member of Google’s Webmaster Trends team, said at SMX Munich that the new mobile-friendly algorithm change will have more of an impact on search rankings than either Panda or Penguin, two of the most recent search and most extensive updates.
Mobilegeddon will change the way Google evaluates the mobile-friendliness of websites and are advising webmasters and SEO professionals to specifically address how their mobile sites interact with search engines.
Significance of the Announcement
Everyone knows that Mobile device use has exploded in the past three years, but did you know that:
- There are 271 million mobile subscribers in the U.S.
- 91% of adults keep their smartphones within arm’s reach!
- 80% of local searches on mobile phones convert
- 70% of mobile searches lead to action within one hour
Specifics on How to Prepare for April 21st Launch
On February 26, 2015 Google’s blogpost “Finding more mobile-friendly search results suggests the following immediate tactical moves:
- Check the “Guide Mobile Friendly Sites”
- Run a mobile friendly test, evaluate recommended 3rd party software for mobile users, review web fundamentals and review advice for working with developers.
- Check the Mobile Usability Report against your site
- Focus on more relevant data in indexed apps
- Follow the step-by-step guide to learn about implementing App Indexing – Add deep link support, verify app’s official website, provide deep links for each page, add the indexing API, Check for errors using webmaster tools.
Additional Advice from Seach Engine Watch
As the de facto guru of search engine marketing, Search Engine Watch offers the following additional insights:
- Realize that design has virtually no impact on search results so if traffic is your goal, put your energy into the technical side of the site
- Recognize that mobile friendliness is tied to the page more than the entire site
Other Ways to Prepare
- Add a site dedicated to Mobile Devices
- Focus on delivering quick results to users
- Optimize graphics and displays for mobile phones
- Use mobile friendly list type menu displays
- Understand how mobile link building differs from traditional link building
Search Engine Watch says, it’s time to “Go Mobile or Become Irrelevant.” Make adding a fast loading and efficient mobile website your number one priority. Follow the advice above and be ready for the April 21st launch.