There are dates that live in infamy in SEO. The Panda update on February 23, 2011. The Penguin update on April 24, 2012. The Pigeon update on July 24, 2014. April 21, 2015 stands to be yet another moment in the history of SEO and web search marketing.
The announcement from Google was terse:
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
It is a widely known fact that Google tends to favor websites that are mobile friendly or mobile responsive in search results. It was only a matter of time before Google officially incorporated this preference into an official algorithm update.
Why Is Google Doing It?
Google’s mission is to provide the best search experience to its users. Google generates 90% of its revenue based on advertising, and that advertising is dependent on users having a great experience and returning for multiple visits. When users stop having that awesome Google experience, they find another search engine and never come back. This is why Google invests heavily in user experience.
Non-responsive sites are simply not a great experience for the end user. Imagine this scenario.
Picture someone sitting on their couch on a Saturday morning, drinking coffee and leafing through Flipboard on their iPad. We will call this person Joe. Joe comes across a Flipboard article about the health benefits of protein bars. He thinks to himself, “Yeah I’ll go buy protein bars this afternoon.” He clicks out of Flipboard and opens up Google in the iPad version of Safari, or the dedicated Google app. The search is simple, “protein bars [his city]”. Top ten search results. But the first three results don’t render correctly on his iPad. The text is too small, the sites themselves are impossible to navigate with a touch interface, and the images are broken. He gets frustrated. Gives up and says, heck I’ll just buy potato chips instead.
Not only have those websites lost a potential customer; Google may have potentially lost a returning user. Google is rolling out its April 21st algorithm update precisely for this reason.
How Should Your Business Respond?
The only response to Google’s impending mobile update is to make sure that your site is mobile responsive (Google’s preferred form of mobile web design). No “Ifs”, “Ands” or “Buts”. Google almost never gives advance warning of impending algorithm updates. When Google does hand out warnings you can rest assured that an update will have a major impact on your website and your business.
If you do not have a mobile responsive website the chances are high that your rankings and your traffic will suffer immensely after April 21.
How Can I Think An Idea Help?
I Think An Idea is a result oriented SEO company that also specializes in mobile responsive website design. We can help you convert your old website into a new, mobile friendly website while preserving your website’s ranking and traffic. Request a quote, or call I Think An Idea at (888) 240-0606.