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Starting today Google is rolling out an update to their search algorithm that could potentially wreak havoc for many small businesses. In an effort to make the web more mobile friendly, the search engine giant will update their algorithm to favor mobile friendly websites. This means that if your websites aren’t optimised for mobile devices, you could potentially lose a lot of traffic.
In the past Google hasn’t really given any heads up before making updates to their algorithm, however that wasn’t the case this time around. Back in February, Google announced that they would be making updates to their algorithm with mobile in mind, as well as when it would happen. So to be fair, tech savvy webmasters knew in advance that this was coming. In fact, Google intentionally waited to implement the new changes in order to give webmasters time to prepare.
What Does It All Mean?
Google’s goal is to provide the best user experience possible to users searching the web. The search giant estimates that around 50% of searches that take place are on mobile devices. With half of searchers using mobile devices to search the web, it’s a no brainer for Google to make being “mobile friendly” a ranking factor.
What this means is that when a user searches Google from now on, websites that are mobile friendly will get more love from Google and rank higher than those that aren’t. Google’s update will not only provide users with more relevant and higher quality results, but with results that look great and work well across their mobile devices.
This also means that websites that aren’t mobile friendly will be penalised and experience a considerable drop in traffic to their sites. Small businesses that rely on traffic from Google to drive sales will be hit the hardest. In fact, this update is so big that it has been given the nickname “Mobilegeddon” because of how apocalyptic this new update could be for webmasters. This isn’t localised to just one country either. Starting today, the new update will be implemented worldwide.
Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
Chances are if your website is running on the latest version of WordPress and is using a theme released in the last year or so, your site is mobile ready. Why is that? Well most themes nowadays have built in mobile support in the form of responsive web design.
As more and more users access websites from their mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, theme developers are creating new themes with responsive design in mind. To be honest, it’s hard to find new themes in the last year or so that aren’t responsive. At the same time however, many webmasters are still using old themes that are outdated and aren’t mobile friendly. Unfortunately they are the ones that will be hit the hardest when the new update goes into effect.
So how can you tell if your website is mobile friendly? An easy way to know whether or not your websites stand a chance against the new Google search algorithm update, is by using the free mobile-friendly test tool from Google.
By using the mobile-friendly testing tool from Google, you can quickly learn whether or not your site is going to be penalised by the update. Simply enter in your website’s URL, and Google will quickly scan your site to see if it’s mobile friendly or not.
If your website passes the test, you should have nothing to worry about in regards to the new update. However if your site fails the test, you should work on making some changes to your website as quickly as possible so that you don’t lose traffic.
The good thing is that if your website(s) fail the test, Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool will alert you as to why your site failed, and let you know what you can do to fix things.
Fortunately our clients have nothing to worry about. All the websites designed and developed here at ChillyBin are mobile friendly and SEO optimised from the ground up. If your website failed Google’s round of testing or if you’re just worried about losing traffic due to the update, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. As a WordPress authority, we can make your website look good on any device, and help you not only survive the Mobilegeddon, but thrive in it.
In a nutshell, the update to Google’s search algorithm is a big deal. Is it Penguin big? Maybe, no one knows for sure as Google hasn’t been very forthcoming with details. Only time will tell.