King Google wants everyone to be mobile-friendlyCharlotte, Princess of Cambridge, rules the media this month. Last month, the ruler was Google, King of Search. Fearful search marketers around the world predicted “Mobilegeddon” on April 21, the fateful day upon which Google would change its search algorithm to reward “mobile-friendly” websites with higher rankings and, in effect, punish sites that do not provide a quality user experience on mobile phones and tablets.

So far, the change has elicited an overwhelming “Meh.” Firms that track a wide variety of Google rankings to detect changes report that Mobilegeddon caused about a 5% variation in mobile search rankings. Not the end of the Internet as we know it, but not to be dismissed with a quick “Phew!” either.

What happened? For starters, the change only affected mobile search. Even if your company’s website displays terribly on a mobile phone, it still ranks the same as it did before in desktop search. Secondly, search marketers found evidence that Google had begun starting to favor mobile-friendly websites in the months beforehand, diminishing the impact of the April 21 update. And finally, many opined that even mighty Google might need more than a few weeks to crawl all of the world’s 1 billion websites.

What’s next? Google wants a mobile-friendly web, and the King has decreed that subjects (that’s us, folks) will be subjected to systematic rewards and punishments until all have complied. Consider this your official notification.

Don’t know if your website is mobile-friendly? Simply search for your company website on your smart phone, look at the search result, and see if it says “mobile-friendly” on the first line of the description. Or, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool.

Don’t know how much mobile traffic your site gets? If you have Google Analytics installed, it can report site traffic by source. We advise companies that get a high percentage of traffic from mobile to comply quickly, as they are at highest risk of losing business from lower mobile search rankings.

Ready to get mobile-friendly? You have two choices: build and manage a separate mobile site or build a new website with responsive design. We recommend (and offer) responsive design, because the technology enables one website to display properly on any device.

Need help with your website? Call Kim Landry at 484-829-0021 or email [email protected].

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