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All About Google’s Mobile Friendly Update, Mobilegeddon

mobilegeddonSo Google’s Mobile Friendly Update is finally here….the biggest Google algorithm update in at least the last three years, though some are arguing it’s the biggest update in the history of Google. What is it all about, and is your website ready? Let’s find out.

What is Mobilegeddon?

Mobilegeddon is a term coined by Search Engine Land to refer to what Google is calling the Mobile Friendly Update. Starting April 21, 2015 Google will start rewarding websites that pass their mobile friendliness test with a dramatic boost in rankings when someone is searching from a smartphone. Google has said that the update will apply to mobile search results and that it will affect all languages, worldwide. Google later went on to say that the change will have a bigger impact than their Panda and Penguin updates, which means that more than 11% of websites could be affected.

Websites that are not mobile friendly will be demoted, which could result in a substantial loss of business. While a website will not be removed from the search results entirely as some had speculated early on, the demotions could be so significant that searchers will have a very hard time finding non-mobile friendly sites.

Why is Google doing this?

Quite simply, Google is doing this because it wants searchers “to be able to find information that is easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens,” Google said it a statement. Mobile searching overtook desktop searching in 2014 and this trend toward mobile is only going to continue to increase, making mobile friendliness an important website factor in delivering relevant, high quality search results.

Who does this affect?

Anyone who has a website, in any language, worldwide that depends on online leads for their business or organization. It affects small, medium, and large websites. In fact, Tech Crunch recently did a study that estimated that 44% of the Fortune 500 websites are not currently mobile friendly.

How can you find out if your website is mobile friendly?

It’s easy. If you’re worried about your website, go to Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Tool and type in your URL (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/). The tool immediately crawls your site and a message shows up that says you either passed or failed the test.

If you failed the test, the most likely reasons are:

  • Blocked JavaScript, CSS or images
  • The text is too small
  • Links are too close together (i.e. traditional navigation menus)
  • Your content is wider than your screen

Am I too late if my website is not mobile friendly yet?

The good news is, absolutely not. Google has said that this update will take place in real-time, meaning that if you make your site mobile friendly Google will recognize it as such almost immediately. Early tests conducted by Search Engine Roundtable show that it can take anywhere from a few hours to 72 hours on most websites, but large sites can take up to a month. Google has estimated that the full algorithm change will take about three weeks to complete though, so you still have some time.

If your website is not mobile friendly, and you need help making it so please contact our team of designers and developers at Icon. We will help you achieve a mobile friendly website that is more user friendly, which will improve your rankings and result in more revenue generating behavior on your website.