What You Need to Know About ‘Mobilegeddon’ – Coming April 21st

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You may have noticed a bit of frenzy in the digital marketing world about Google’s upcoming algorithm update being dubbed “mobilegeddon.” Yes, that’s what it’s being called – just in case you weren’t confused or freaked out enough. If you haven’t caught wind of this, that’s ok, but there are a few things that you should know about before – and after – the update.

What is mobilegeddon?

At the end of February, Google announced that it would be using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal starting on April 21, 2015.

“This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”

To drive the point home, Google also sent emails out to site owners who are clear offenders, warning them specifically about this upcoming update.

This is another move to reward sites that provide the best user experience – specifically for mobile users. Google has been doing this for some time now.

Google makes updates all the time. What’s the big deal?

Mobile usability is already a factor that determines how a site ranks in search results. The difference here is that Google is making a pretty big deal about this specific update – more than usual. The search giant doesn’t typically come right out and warn people about updates. And they hardly ever provide specific dates or use phrases like “significant impact.”

Will my site be affected?

If your site is already mobile-friendly, it is safe to assume that you should be ok. If your site is not mobile-friendly, you will want to think pretty seriously about changing that very soon.

Having a site that looks good and works well on all mobile device types is the key. We recommend a responsive website, namely for device flexibility and ease of maintenance. Responsive is also Google’s recommended configuration.

Not sure where you stand? Here are two ways to check:

 

1. Plug your site into Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.

Use Google's mobile-friendly test tool to see if your site will be impacted by mobilegeddon

 

2. Do a Google search for your brand on a mobile device.

If Google recognizes your site as mobile-friendly, you’ll see it labeled as such in search results like the example here.

Mobile-friendly label in Google search results

 

Like all Google algorithm updates, no one knows exactly how this one will work or how dramatic the impact will be. We do know that it will change the way Google evaluates mobile-friendliness in a pretty significant way.

For most it will be wise to assess the impact (if any) before there’s a rush to make updates. Google announced this pretty recently, giving some site owners less than two months to consider some pretty major changes to their websites.

If you need help assessing the impact on your site, feel free to drop us a line anytime.