Older Websites May Be Punished By Mobile-Minded Google
Mobile Devices Now Account for Half of All Net Searches
You just got another reason to update your old website.
Last month search engine giant, Google, announced their algorithm systems will be updated to give 'mobile-friendly' web pages higher rankings on portable devices such as tablets and smart-phones In April 2015. If your website is getting a little long of tooth, chances are it has not been optimized for the smaller screens on your customers' favourite devices.
Why Are They Doing This To Us?
Google's announced move, to take effect worldwide on April 21, is a reflection of the dramatic increase in web searches on portable electronics. Almost half of all Google queries are now made from phones and tablets, which is a marked increase from even a couple of years ago. In 2012 mobile Googling accounted for less than 30% of all searches, according to industry estimates.
Why Should I Care?
The difference between a modern, mobile-friendly layout and the old way of building a website was based on the belief that people wouldn't be shopping or doing serious product research on their iPhones. Everyone had a CPU at home to do that sort of thing. New data now shows that for many Internet users, particularly the 18 to 30 demographic, they are now accessing the web exclusively through their devices. If your site isn't easily readable on the smaller displays featured on these electronics, those potential customers won't stay on your site for very long. Worse yet, if you are not mobile-optimized, your customers may never even find you if you've been pushed way down in the mobile rankings.
What Should I Do About It?
If you have a business site offering products and services to the public, it is imperative to have your website professionally redesigned to be mobile-friendly before April 21. However, it is important to keep in mind the redesign isn't to please some stupid little website crawling google-bots. You're making your site easier to read on portable electronics to improve communication with real flesh and blood customers. After all, if the bots understand your website, neither can your device-dependent clients. Shrinking your potential customer base by half is never good business.
How Will This New Algorithm Affect CPU Searches?
Google has stated their new algorithm will have no effect on the rankings of searches initiated from desk-top or laptop systems. If your company ranked well before the change, you will probably rank exactly the same after. It will only be when users access your site from a mobile device that ranking changes will be noticed. Older sites that are on the first page of a Google search may end up so far down the list on a mobile device you may need drilling equipment to find it.
Don't Wait to Update - The Time to Mobilize is Now
It is easier to maintain high search rankings than to recover from a downgrade. Now is the time to contact your site designer to ensure your site won't be dinged by the google-bots and to make changes if necessary. The bots won't thank you but your customers will.