The first thing on Google’s ten sacred truths is the need to focus on the user. Google domination relies on giving users the most relevant and timely results. Today, many people access the Internet on mobile devices. Google confirmed this by an announcement that Google searches on mobile had exceeded the desktop searches in ten countries.
Among the ten countries were USA and Japan. Naturally, Google’s algorithms have adapted to this trend. Starting April 21, mobile-friendliness is now a crucial ranking signal. Web sites that were mobile optimized were expected to rank higher than unoptimized sites.
Marketers nicknamed the April 21 update, the MobileGeddon. There were fears of a significant shift in the way websites are ranked in the search engines. Internet marketers were concerned about losing traffic to their sites if Google judged them as mobile unfriendly. Webmasters and marketers waited with bated breath to see the effects of MobileGeddon.
It is important to note that MobileGeddon was expected to:
- Affect search rankings on mobile devices only
- Affect Google search results in all languages
- Apply to individual URLs and not entire websites
- Affect mobile applications
Effects of MobileGeddon So Far
In the aftermath of the update, some businesses with un-optimized web pages lost search traffic. Consequently, for some searches, individual websites tend to rank higher in mobile device searches than they usually ranked in desktop searches. This could be the case because some of the websites that ranked higher in a desktop search may not have been mobile-friendly.
The expected tornado has however been described as a mere drizzle. On April 22, there was a lot of tension among web owners. It was an acknowledged fact that some websites, including a percentage of Fortune 500 companies websites, were not mobile-friendly. Two weeks after MobileGeddon, the tech community and webmasters have been doing an audit of the update’s impact. Marketers have not noted any significant changes to their sites’ rankings. Reports from around the tech community have indicated that MobileGeddon have not had any significant ranking changes. Representatives from Moz, Seer Interactive, and Search Engine Roundtable have confirmed the minimal changes in the mobile rankings so far. The effects of MobileGeddon have been seen as a whimper.
Why Website Owners Should Not Sit Back And Relax Yet
It is safe to say that majority of the landing pages and websites have escaped the effects of MobileGeddon. However, website owners should not take this to mean business as usual. They should ensure that their sites are mobile-friendly. They should also ensure that the sites are mobile devices optimized for the following reasons:
Google’s update could still be ongoing, and its impact can only be noted over time.
Though Google says that they have completed rolling out the updates, we cannot be sure of the effects. Analysts agree that the April 21 rollout could only be the beginning. Mobile-friendliness is only a small part of the algorithms. How this will interact with the other elements of the algorithm will be seen over time. All websites should conform to the search engine’s requirements.
Mobile Friendly Sites Are Good For Business.
It has been reported and confirmed that mobile devices searches have exceeded desktops searches. Companies that will focus on the smartphone users will stand out more. MobileGeddon or not, it, therefore, makes business sense to ensure that sites offer a pleasant mobile viewing experience.
What MobileGeddon Means For SEO
Webmasters must develop modern multi-device websites. As Google noted, it’s annoying to open a website and find that the site requires browser technologies beyond your device. Starting July 14, 2014, Google started warning US searchers of pages that may not work on their devices. Websites must be easy to navigate on smartphones. As a website owner, you should confirm that your sites are mobile friendly. It’s necessary to test your sites on Google’s Mobile friendly test tool. When building a mobile friendly website, it’s important that developers shift to the universally supported HTML5.
Web sites should Use text that is easy to read without zooming
If your text size is too small, Google crawlers will judge your site as being unfriendly to mobile users. Your content must be readable without the need to double-tap or zoom.
Links Must Be Placed Far Enough Apart
Your touch elements should not be deemed too close. Place links in a way that allows easy tapping of the correct link. Google document requires touch elements to be at a minimum of 5mm apart and 7mm wide. An average adult’s finger size is considered to be five by seven.
Webmasters Must Ensure Fast Website Load Time on Mobile Devices
Mobile device users want a site that loads fast enough on their mobile devices so they do not have to wait a long time. Websites that fail to load quickly may have the following issues:
- High-resolution images
- Slow server response time
- Lack of browser caching
- Too many landing page re-directs
- Failure to enable compression
The smartphone user is usually very impatient. He usually gives up when a page takes long to load. Webmasters must look for ways to make their pages load faster.
Mobile App Content Must Be Google Indexable
You should allow Google to index your mobile applications. App developers should take advantage of Google’s step-by-step guide to creating mobile applications that can be easy to index. If your app content is indexed, your mobile search engine rankings will get a boost. If your business relies on mobile apps, it’s important to have the mobile apps SEO optimized.
To the searcher, Google is wholly responsible for his query search results. If user continually gets irrelevant pages or pages that are either unopenable or unreadable, the search engine’s image will suffer. If most of the searches are originating from the smartphone user, then Google will continue punishing websites that are not mobile-friendly. The effects of the MobileGeddon may have been much tamer than anticipated. There was no major loss of traffic for anyone. All this is however not to mean that MobileGeddon has come today and is gone tomorrow. In the future, this problem can become far worse for pages that are not mobile friendly. If your site is not yet mobile-friendly, work to make it friendly. If your site is mobile-friendly, congratulations but continue optimizing it for the smartphone user.