Google is known for making sudden, sweeping changes that have a huge impact on e-commerce. Whether it’s unleashing the zoo on unsuspecting business owners with Panda and Penguin or bringing about “Mobilegeddon” with its April 2015 mobile compatibility release, the Internet is Google’s world – we just live in it.
Now, mobile-friendly factors are about to become even more important to search visibility.
Google has announced upcoming changes that will build on the mobile-focused algorithm updates of 2015 – but don’t expect another Mobilegeddon. Sites that have already adapted to the original mobile-friendly algorithm could even see a bump in rankings.
Here’s what you need to know:
There’s Still Time to Prepare
Google has been unusually straightforward about the coming changes, announcing them on the Google Webmaster Blog well in advance. There’s still weeks to prepare for any adjustments, which won’t start happening until sometime in May. Google offers a free mobile-friendly tool you can use if you’re not sure where you stand in mobile compatibility.
Changes Will Roll Out Gradually
The original mobile update was intended to have a big impact on search results – not too surprising, considering so many people compared it to the end of the world. The new update will be much less dramatic. Not only are the changes smaller, but they’re expected to take place over several weeks or months, making them much less stressful.
Many Sites Won’t Be Impacted
Have you already shifted your Web presence around in response to the last mobile update? If so, you probably won’t see any difference in your search rankings and if you do, it could be positive. Although the new update will amplify the mobile-friendly search signal, it isn’t meant to have any direct effect on sites with high compatibility.
Look Out … This Might be The Start of a Trend
Sites using content management systems like WordPress have had a leg up in shifting to the new, mobile-focused Web. But other types of sites, whether dynamic or static, face more challenges in achieving the high level of compatibility Google demands. Combined with the recent changes to Google’s ad platform to make it more mobile-focused, this looks like it could be the start of a major push. Google recently launched giant mobile ads for certain industries and phased out its right-hand text ads partially due to mobile complaints.
If you’re not quite sure where you stand on mobile, it’s time to brush up on the company’s mobile compatibility guidelines. Even without the Big G, searches on mobile have overtaken desktop for the first time – doing so much sooner than even Google anticipated.
No matter whether your site is B2C or B2B, a larger proportion of your users will be connecting to your content on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Get the jump on your market rivals – and on any future Google changes – by making sure your Web presence is totally mobile ready before the search rankings start to hit the fan this May.