Today sees a major update to the Google algorithm that will rank mobile-friendly websites higher. Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly will get demoted.
Millions of websites are likely to be affected as the mobile-first enforcement pushes non-compliant sites down the rankings. This will mean less web traffic (at least for non-branded search terms) and mainstream media is billing the aftermath as “mobilegeddon”. The BBC list several high-profile sites (including themselves) amongst the affected, while the Guardian took delight in pointing out how much the Daily Mail is likely to suffer after today’s update.
Research from mobile marketing company Somo lists the world’s largest English-language news site amongst a tally of big brands likely to be punished, and back in March Google’s Zineb Ait Bahajji from the Webmaster Trends team was quoted as saying:
“Today’s upgrade will have more of an impact on Google’s search results than Panda and Penguin did.”
Quite how much wildlife will survive today’s post-apocalyptic world remains to be seen but at Dusted we’ve done nothing more than simply relax.
Less publicised is the fact that Google’s algorithm update will only affect searches from mobile devices (e.g. smartphones and perhaps smartwatches if Apple’s latest wearable is anything to go by). Searches from desktop and tablet will remain unscathed, which is an important factor for corporate sites as they naturally receive less mobile traffic than pure consumer sites. The effects will be heaviest on retailers and those dependent on non-branded search terms. A little ironic given B2C sites are often more content-rich and therefore something Google loves and would traditionally rank higher.
Google say more than 50% of searches are now coming from mobile devices, but the objective isn’t simply a compatibility issue. Google wants users to have a good experience whenever they click on a mobile link and for years we have ensured a mobile-first approach to web development. Not just to demonstrate our creative thinking, but more importantly our expertise in meeting the standards expected of modern web design.
At Dusted, this is based on five key areas: responsive web design, adaptive content, optimised build, progressive enhancement and accessible code. Our proficiency in these areas means we know the user experience should be prioritised and tested and not just an afterthought.
Get in touch if your site falls short of the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.