The Truth About ‘Mobilegeddon’ and the Impact On Your Website
As with any Google algorithm change, it is our goal to bring to our readers the facts about any impact these updates may have on your website rankings especially for those business owners who depend on local SEO traffic in their perspective city.
So, we decided to highlight an article that was recently published on USA Today. At the end we will include our commentary as to how this will affect local businesses and their mobile website rankings. Article begins now…
Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY 9:40 a.m. EDT April 21, 2015
LOS ANGELES — If your website traffic plummets suddenly Tuesday, you can blame it on “Mobilegeddon.”
Google, which dominates online search, is launching an algorithm to favor sites that are “mobile-friendly.” This means that people who use Google to search on their smartphone may not find many of their favorite sites at the top of the rankings. Sites that haven’t updated could find themselves ranked way lower, which in turn could mean a huge loss of business.
Search giant Google, which comScore Media Metrix estimates has a 65% market share of U.S. Internet searches, wants sites to load quickly and be easy to navigate on a mobile phone.
Google is doing this because it wants consumers to “find content that’s not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens,” Google said in a statement.
The update will not affect results from desktop searches.
Google’s last big algorithm update, code-named Panda, impacted “11% of all search results,” says Danny Sullivan, the editor of the SearchEngineLand website. “It was a big shake-up, and this one could be even more dramatic.”
A website ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in a search query could hypothetically fall to ninth or 10th place, causing a loss of thousands of dollars in potential business, says independent analyst Greg Sterling.
In 2012, Demand Media posted a $6.4 million loss in an earnings report, and blamed the loss on changes to Google’s Panda update, which removed the firm from top spots.
Just over half of all searches done on Google are now performed through mobile devices, says Sullivan, a number that continues to grow, as more folks transition to spending more and more time on smartphones.
(Sullivan’s website came up with the term “Mobilegeddon” in March, a play on a recent Los Angeles mini-crisis called “Carmeggedon,” when freeways were closed for several weekends.)
Worried about your website? Google has a “Mobile-Friendly” test page in its developer section. Just type in the URL and see if it passes. The URL: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.
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USA TODAY tested many top brands with the tool Monday, and came up with many that passed the test — and many that didn’t. Companies that need to update their sites quickly included restaurant chains California Pizza Kitchen and Coco’s, fashion icon Versace, candy manufacturer Sees and European airline Ryanair, according to Google.
Website TechCrunch found that 44% of the Fortune 500 companies failed the mobile friendly test.
Overall, “as many as 40% of top websites are not currently mobile-friendly,” says Sterling. “There’s a big category of people who have completely ignored mobile.”
Finally, if you’re a small business and can’t get this done by Tuesday, no need to panic, says Sterling.
Most local businesses are found these days, not via their website, but through directory services like Yelp and Google’s local search listings.
“You typically go to Google and look up car repair, for instance,” he says. “The local listings show up first, not usually the website.”
So his advice to the small business owner is to make sure all your local information is current and up-to-date in Yelp and on Google’s MyBusiness section.
“They still need to update their website, but this buys them time,” he adds.
(End of Article)
ST. LOUIS BIZ TALK BLOG COMMENTARY
Google is releasing their new mobile friendly update on April 21st, 2015.
As many SEO companies will agree, it’s unprecedented for Google to pre-announce a big algorithmic change like this, but Google did so in order to give publishers ample time to make their web sites mobile friendly.
But let’s clarify one important component of what’s going on here. Google will not delist websites for not being mobile-friendly. Google may most likely demote or lower the sites in the mobile search results if your site is not mobile-friendly. So, delisting is a lie.
But make no mistake. There will be ranking changes going on over the next few weeks. The mobile-friendly update will potentially give a ranking boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results and will eventually penalize those who do not make their website mobile-friendly.
QUICK SOLUTION THAT CAN SAVE YOUR RANKINGS: There was one point made in the preceding article that we agree with that involves local businesses buying out the opportune time by getting their business information in local directory listings such as Yelp and Google’s local business search listings.
This is now imperative as local listings show up before organic rankings and will help local businesses who already rank and really help those wanting to rank. And please make sure your listings are up-to-date.
We invite all small business owners to call us at (314) 627-5988 and Jon Floyd will be happy to discuss your options.
There is no time to waste as rankings will start going down over the next few weeks if your site is not mobile-friendly.
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For business owners who have their websites build on the WordPress.org platform, St. Louis Biz Talk may have a free solution for you that will make your website mobile-friendly.
But whatever you decide, our SEO consultants encourage you to call us at (314) 627-5988 to get your Google business and directory listings taken care of today. This is one of the best things you can do to help local search clients to find you.
There is a free way to make your mobile website friendly. Any company or business that hosts their website on a WordPress.org platform can download a free mobile website plugin and once uploaded will make their website mobile-friendly.
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