…than it was yesterday. Literally. Google, the premiere search engine, released a new search algorithm on Tuesday that favors an optimized mobile website for mobile searches. That could spell trouble for popular websites that aren’t doing a good job of welcoming mobile users.
The value of a mobile website
The new Google search algorithm prefers a mobile website that is updated, and will provide better search engine rankings for it. Sites that aren’t mobile friendly may find themselves knocked off the front page of Google’s search results – the Web equivalent of being banished to Siberia.
Google will still use its current search algorithm for searches that are performed from a desktop or other stationary device, so the news isn’t all bad. But if nothing else, the change underscores the importance of having a mobile website for users who search on-the-go.
Google isn’t doing this to throw its own weight around. Like every other website, Google itself need to remain relevant, and if the rapidly growing number of mobile users perceive their mobile search experience to be deficient, they’ll likely find a more acceptable search tool. In a statement regarding the change, Google said that its users prefer to “find content that’s not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens.”
Changes to Google’s search algorithms – which are handled like national secrets – can have a big impact on what searchers see. Google’s most recent algorithm changes impacted where more than 10% of the world’s active websites fall in search rankings, and this change is expected to produce similar – or even more dramatic – results for mobile websites that are (and aren’t)ready for it.
The writing is on the wall for many website operators. If you want to rank well, you should modify your mobile website to respond to the needs of mobile users. Failing to go mobile could have dire consequences for your ability to reach users on mobile devices. At the same time, this represents an opportunity for websites who want to go mobile to reap immediate benefits.
If you would like more information about website design, or you would like to update your mobile website capabilities, please contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.
Photo Credit: DragonTash, via FreeImages.com