Google recently announced a new mobile search algorithm on April 21, and sites that are not considered “mobile-friendly” could see a drop in search engine rankings. This news has caused many website owners to panic, unsure if their site is compliant and if not, how do they mitigate this risk.
First, here are some important details and considerations:
1. This change only impacts searches made on mobile devices.
The goal of this update is to improve the mobile search experience for Google users. Your desktop site and its rankings will NOT be impacted. You will, however, see a drop in rankings on mobile-only searches if your site isn’t optimised.
Consider, however, that this may change in the future as Google evolves.
2. Do you even care about mobile search rankings?
For businesses that are locally based, mobile search traffic could be essential – users are finding your business while they are on-the-go.
We recommend you check your Google Analytics Stats(whats this?), and determine what devices visitors are using on your site. If mobile traffic is a very small percentage of your visitor base, then feel free to take your time implementing the changes.
3. Responsive sites Vs Adaptive design
Google has confirmed that easy-to-index mobile sites will rank highest, regardless of how mobile versions are implemented. This means there is no difference between a responsive site and an alternate site approach when it comes to mobile rankings. Usability has always been Google’s highest priority, and this mobile change is no different.
Redirecting users to an adaptive mobile website gives you an often unrealized advantage above responsive websites – mobile specific keyword optimisation. You can optimise a separate mobile site for a whole different set of keywords that may be more appropriate for visitors searching from their phones. Responsive sites use the same content / meta-data regardless of the visitor’s device, so you can only optimise it for one set of keywords.
4. Tablets are not included
This Google update is for mobile devices only. Tablet devices are not included…yet. However you can be 100% sure they will be eventually, and you may want to apply the same concepts to Tablet adaptive sites.
Our site isn’t responsive or smartphone compliant, what now?
Don’t Panic! This issue can be resolved quickly. Book a consultation with us today to review your current website – from here we can identify any issues along with any requirements you may feel your site is missing. We will help get you back up and running without losing to much distance to your competitors.
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The Team at Zoo 77