On April 21, 2015 Google will be updating its search algorithm with a new algorithm designed specifically to focus on mobile search results. Mobile device usage has been on the rise ever since the early 2000’s and now device usage is prevalent enough in search results that Google has decided it’s time to step in and create an experience specific to mobile devices. The primary goal is to focus on websites that provide an optimized experience for mobile users.
Think about it this way, Google’s primary (arguable I know) purpose in search result is to deliver the best answer to a specific query, which given the prevalence of mobile search will now include prioritize websites that work well on mobile.
At this point it’s likely that everyone has had an experience with a website on their smartphone that wasn’t mobile friendly, it’s almost always an annoying experience. If Google’s goal is to offer the best user experience sending mobile users to unoptimized sites does not make sense.
So what needs to happen?
Without going into a lengthy lecture on best practices in mobile web design and UX, the simple answer is that you need to make your site mobile friendly. There are three options for handling this.
- A mobile only site
- Can happen on a mobile sub-domain (m.yoursite.com). User gets redirected
- OR Can Load different code based on device. The URL’s stay the same but the content changes
- A responsive site design
- This one uses all the same content just provides instructions for how to scale to various devices.
Of the three listed above the only method Google fully endorses is to use responsive web design (number 3).
At this point you should be wondering how you can get this taken care of so you don’t get hit on April 21st. The best answer is to talk to your trusted web developer. If you don’t have a developer to speak with, click the button on the bottom of this post or give us a call and we can talk you through the different options available to you.
TL;DR – if your site isn’t mobile friendly, when Google rolls out its new mobile ranking algorithm you will likely see a significant dip in your mobile traffic. Making your site Responsive will resolve the largest issue and allow you to keep on keepin’ on.