What to Know After the Fallout
It was a Tuesday like any other in April, except that the digital world had crawled into figurative bomb shelters, bracing for Google’s latest algorithm rollout – Mobilegeddon. The name struck a chord of fear in business owners across the country and webmasters were loaded down with questions and demands – “Is my website mobile-friendly?” “What is a responsive site?” “Save me from plummeting to the bottom of the rankings!” The truth is that no one except Google really knew the full impact that the ominous sounding Mobilegeddon algorithm update would have.
In the time since, several fears have been put to rest, but the importance of site innovation and SEO optimization is stronger than ever. What are the lessons learned from Mobilegeddon and how does it underscore the importance of a strong web presence in today’s digital age? Does your website pass the digital “Good Citizen” test and earn its mobile-friendly badge?
Mobilegeddon in a Nutshell
In case you’re still a bit foggy on what the digital meltdown over Mobilegeddon was all about, here is a brief overview: Google knows that the number of mobile Internet users is growing by an exponential rate. As a result, the search engine giant wants to serve people with sites that know how to interact with mobile phones when users perform web searches on their devices. The algorithm update is a means by which Google can assess a website’s ability to display on mobile devices, and it will adjust search rankings accordingly only when a user performs a web search from their mobile device.
The key takeaways here are that the algorithm update is only one factor in a list of 200-plus factors assessed by Google, and a site’s mobile-friendliness only impacts their rankings when someone is searching from their phone.
What Does It Mean to Be Mobile-Friendly?
With mobile Internet usage rapidly on the rise, it’s crucial that your website knows how to play nice with smart phones. What does that actually mean? When a consumer lands upon your website on their mobile device, are they able to surf the site successfully, or are they pummeled by the rip current? Mobile-friendliness means that a user will have access to all the same content as your site, in a layout that fits their particular mobile device and is navigable. Essentially, a mobile-friendly site doesn’t shortchange the user by obscuring how awesome your site truly is. Go ahead, test your site today – how does it display on your iPhone or Android? If pages are missing, links are non-functional, and display is sketchy, your site needs a mobile-friendliness update.
What It Boils Down To
You may be wondering whether or not your site can afford to take a hit in terms of mobile-friendliness. If you feel like your desktop site, killer graphics, and pages upon pages of SEO-rich content are enough to keep your site afloat, should you take the risk of being labeled by Google as mobile-unfriendly? The short answer is no! The truth is, there will always be new algorithms, evolving industry standards, and technological advances to keep up with. This is the cost of doing business in the technology age and it’s a price that businesses need to be willing and able to pay.
I like to remind clients of the wise words spoken by digital marketing author Avinash Kaushik: “Never let your ads write checks that your website can’t cash.” In other words, don’t tell people all the ways you can help them and send them to a site that is anything less than stellar and functional in every way, especially since the percentage of web traffic coming to your site from a mobile source is projected to keep on rising. So being mobile-friendly is an important way that you demonstrate your investment in your business and your ability to be responsive in the ever-changing world of technology.
The much-anticipated cloud of Mobilegeddon has lifted, but it doesn’t mean you should ignore it. The event was monumental in that it underscored the power that Google has to guide website evolution and it forced businesses to take stock of their investment in web technology. So in the post-Mobilegeddon world, make a commitment to your business to stay in step with changing technology, consumer preferences, and SEO best practices. If you do, you will have nothing to fear from algorithm updates, Internet usage trends, or whatever the next apocalyptic event may bring.
About the Author
Scott Brazdo is the CEO and co-founder of Melbourne-based Black Tie Digital Marketing. Black Tie Digital combines the power of ten traditional marketing vendors all built into one agency. Find out more at BlackTieDigital.com