On April 21, Google will unleash Mobilegeddon. It rewards mobile-friendly sites with better search rankings and penalizes others. Details, Tips.
aNewDomain — It’s official, so far as anything having to do with Google and SEO can be official.
On April 21, Google will begin rolling out Mobilegeddon, a major algorithm change that will expand Google’s use of mobile readiness and friendliness as a ranking signal in search.
This algorithm update is likely to have more of an impact on search rankings than either Penguin or Panda, two of the largest search algorithm updates, with the most impact, Google has launched.
Here’s how to get ready for Mobilegeddon.
Avoiding Google demotion
Sites that are mobile-friendly will be rewarded with better positioning in Google’s search-engine results. That means mobile-responsive websites will see more traffic from a rapidly expanding base — those using cell phones and tablets.
Those that don’t have a mobile version of their site in place by April 21 will see their search ranking demoted — meaning less mobile organic traffic — forcing sites to rely on a shrinking desktop-based audience.
Mobile-friendliness will only impact mobile rankings, not those for desktops. Even though desktop and mobile search engine results pages (SERPs) look very different, if a site is No. 1 on desktop, it’s likely to be No. 1 on mobile.
After April 21, this may no longer be the case. In fact, it probably won’t be.
Numbers don’t lie. Usually.
In Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ 2014 Internet Trends Report
, mobile use continues to rise rapidly, taking up 25 percent of the total web use, up from 14 percent the year before. The report also says that shipment of tablets, up 52 percent in 2013, is growing faster than PCs ever did.
Mobile migration tools and tests
If implementing a mobile strategy has been low on your website to-do list, the upcoming April 21 deadline means now is the time to move migrating to a top priority.
Google offers two tools to determine if your site is mobile-friendly. The Mobile-Friendly Test
will analyze your web page URL and whether your site meets initial qualifications. The Mobile Usability Report
inside your Google Webmaster Tools examines your website as Google sees it and provides a list of mobile-usability issues.
Responsive design, which uses the same HTML code on the same URL regardless of the device but can render the display differently based on the screen size, is Google’s recommended design platform (though it does not have a ranking benefit). Other options include dynamic serving, which uses the same URL regardless of the device but generates a different version of HTML for each different device type based on what the server knows about the user’s browser, and separate URLs (or having a separate hosted mobile version of your site), which uses different code for each device and the configuration tries to detect the users’ device and redirect them to the appropriate page.
Tip: Check each individual page of your site on a mobile device to ensure navigability. Just because your home page is mobile-friendly doesn’t mean the rest of your site is. Googles mobile-friendliness is determined on a page-by-page basis and runs in real time. So passing some or even most pages as mobile-friendly will not mean your entire site passes the muster. All pages must be mobile-friendly to receive the Google label on mobile searches (this label doesn’t appear on desktop searches). That said, any mobile-ready page can benefit from the update, and an entire site won’t be demoted simply because a few pages aren’t mobile-friendly.
You don’t have to go into a total meltdown about not being 100-percent mobile-compliant by the April 21 deadline. Of course, going mobile-friendly for all your pages is important as mobile users continue to grow, but you can make a decision on a page-by-page basis if your conversion process is complex.
For aNewDomain, I’m Jolene Campbell.