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Google is starting to take mobile seriously = "Mobilegeddon"

Google uses a number of measurements to decide where to show a website in its list of search results. It is a complicated cocktail as shown on the Searchmetrics website . Even a well-regarded company like Searchmetrics doesn't know precisely how Google works (only Google knows this and they are not going to give the game away), so the list of deciding factors, which seem pretty accurate, are not authoritative.

Google's Idea of Mobile Friendly

One of the factors that Google appears to be taking more seriously is how "mobile friendly" a website is. From April 2015 Google is making a decision as to whether a website displays and works well on a small screen mobile device, typically an iPhone or Android phone, and where this site will appear in the mobile search rankings. This new algorithm update has been dubbed "mobilegeddon!"

You can see what Google thinks of your site using the tool that they provide. Google's explanation of what they are doing is on their official blog.

Should I be worried?

This news has caused a good deal of concern for website owners, some of which is not always justified. Here's why:

  • Google's message applies to "search on mobile devices". This change will not have a great affect on a website's position in desktop search results (those searches made using a regular computer or tablet).
  • Some businesses have very few website visitors who use mobile devices. This is largely down to the type of industry a business operates in. Usually Business to Business (B2B) websites often have far fewer mobile visitors than Business to Consumer (B2C) websites and some B2C sites, depending on content, have far greater numbers of mobile visitors - think Estate Agents who may have more mobile than desktop visitors.

At Hughes Media we usually recommend that a business looks at upgrading a website to be "mobile friendly" when visits by mobile users exceed 15 - 20% of total visits.

From past experience, we have seen that websites that cater well to mobile visitors retain visitors for longer, and show more pages of information per visit. In the case of e-commerce sites, conversion from browsers to buyers increases when a site works well on mobile devices.

Is mobile the magic silver bullet?

There's no doubt about it; a mobile friendly website will help keep your site current and working well. The use of mobile phones to view websites is only increasing. In 2017, figures suggest that more than 90% of internet users will access online content through their phones. 

However, our view is that good quality, original content that appeals to your target audience is still a great way of getting a good Google listing. Something that Google itself references: 

"While the mobile-friendly change is important, we still use a variety of signals to rank search results. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal -- so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query." - Webmaster Central Blog

Fancy some more information?

Check out our short article about mobile websites for information about how your site can be mobile friendly.

Talk / Email / Tweet us to see how we can help or if you would like further information.

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