Ok, this news is definitely not panic-worthy. Sorry if we gave anyone heart palpitations or sweaty palms.
Unfortunately, PANIC! seems to be what some groups are trying to instill, in order to drive sales. Here’s what’s going on.
You may have seen an article or been contacted by someone who is claiming that your business’ search results are going suffer. They’ll be telling you that if your website is not mobile-friendly, Google’s new algorithm will give it a lower score. Also that your corporate offices will start on fire. And earthquakes will become likely.
The thing is, they aren’t precisely lying, though. Well, the fire and earthquakes things – those are probably lies. But Google’s new algorithm (debuting April 21st) WILL give better results to sites that are mobile-friendly. BUT ONLY ON A MOBILE DEVICE.
This is the part that the PANIC! folks are leaving out. Straight from Google (http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2015/02/finding-more-mobile-friendly-search.html):
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
See in that quote where it says “Will affect mobile searches?” Lots of folks are either missing that, or leaving it out on purpose.
This is a very smart move by Google. If I’m on a mobile device and search for movie times in my area? Yes please, give me listings that have mobile-friendly movie listings first. If I’m on a desktop (laptop, etc.)? Just the plain results like usual, please.
So, how will this really affect your business? Well, it’s not a small thing. Mobile usage is not slowing down. We’ve been building websites that are mobile-friendly as an automatic for several years now. If you’re one of our clients that has an older (and not mobile-friendly) site, odds are you’ve been contacted about getting that rectified. If not, let us know about it! We’d love to work with you to make your site mobile friendly.
That said, you may not be all that concerned about mobile results just yet. Maybe you feel your target demographic won’t be looking at your site on a phone. If that’s the case, then nothing much is going to change for you. (But we really think you should consider a site update.)
Not sure if your site is mobile friendly or not? Google provided a handy-dandy site tester! You can check it out here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly
Kalvin Kingsley is the VP of Information Technology at KK BOLD and hopefully will come out from his hiding place under his desk in the near future.