Digital marketing circles are abuzz with concerns pertaining to the recently rolled out mobile-oriented Google update and its aftermath. That’s right: the MOBILEGEDDON is finally here! The rollout began in earnest on the 21st of April, and is already generating mixed reactions from SEOs and Webmasters across the world, with many reporting notable changes in the search placement of their websites. Those who have invested in a comprehensive mobile strategy are beaming with elation, while those who have been caught unprepared, have all the reasons to worry.
What We Know About the Update, So Far
Let’s get some things straight here.
- The update affects search engine results on mobile devices only.
- The rollout is global and affects all languages.
- This is not the only signal that is going to be employed to determine site rankings.
- It does not affect whole websites but individual pages.
- The differences in terms of impact, between Android and iOS, is not yet clear, although Android deep links may start showing on iOS.
- The update is going to have a greater impact on search results, compared to Panda and Penguin (Zineb Ait Bahajji – Webmaster Trends Team, Google at SMX Munich: 17 March 2015)
- There is no impact on tablet search results as they have a desktop experience
Analytics of the Rollout
According to various credible sources, the update could alienate up to 50% of top websites. Though it would be premature to precisely comment on the impact of the update; however, the fact that currently more than 50% of all search queries received by Google are sent from mobile devices, should give you a pretty good idea of what this update means for Googlers and of course the websites indexed in the directory of the global search major. Given the percentage, if a website is not mobile friendly, it stands to lose out on up to 50% of traffic, even if we eliminate the effect of the recent update.
Gearing Up for the Tide
Mobilegeddon is similar to any other algorithm update from Google and those in the know will tell you about the wisdom in ‘algo-proofing’ your online presence. This involves adopting a strategy that focuses on improving the overall experience of site visitor, as opposed to responding to updates as they arrive, all of which anyway share the same objective – ‘improve user experience’. Those who do not have a responsive website and see mobile searches as a possible customer acquisition channel, must act without wasting any time. Whether or not affected by the update (as yet!), getting a responsive website is imperative for every business in order to remain competitive in today’s increasingly competitive markets inundated with mobile web users. You can also monitor your website using free tools provided by Google, such as Mobile-Friendly Test and Mobile Usability Report in Webmaster Tools.
- Check page load speed, information design, content, and internal navigation paths.
- Optimize your emails for mobile searches as they impact search results
- Keep the 5 Sacred Guidelines from Google that relate to the tracking of mobile usability errors.
Once you have a mobile website paired with SEO science, you can expect Google to re-crawl and revoke the penalty on your website, if any. Although this is an automatic process that happens at regular intervals, you can trigger it by utilizing Fetch as Google with Submit to Index in Webmaster Tools. If you have been lucky enough to have escaped a penalty despite evident flaws in your website, a resurrection simply means improved user experience and a notable increase in organic search rankings.
Mobilegeddon, just like all previous attempts by Google to improve the quality of its search results and overall user experience, is sure to produce polar results for webmasters. Regardless of the dynamics at play, you do not have much to worry about if you already have a responsive website that ensures perpetual presentation across diverse platforms, built and marketed in compliance with Google’s search quality guidelines. If you have any questions regarding the update, please do share it in the comments section. We’ll be more than happy address.