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Impact of Google Mobile Algorithm Update

There has been much talk for a while about how mobile was going to overtake desktop for Internet use. For at least a couple of years, projections as to exactly when and by how much mobile online activity would surpass that of desktop has abounded. Well, it may seem that that time is actually here now. With an average of 1.5 billion searches performed on Google by users on mobile devices, if you haven’t spent much time making sure your site is mobile friendly, you should take note.

The fulfillment of the mobile-overtaking-desktop prophecy is however, not the only reason that now is the time for businesses to give direct attention to a mobile-friendly website. A few months ago, Google announced that it would be launching a new search algorithm targeted at mobile. That launch happened on April 21.

What Does the New Algorithm Do?

In short, the new algorithm—referred to as Mobilegeddon—rewards sites that offer true mobile-friendly usability. It is these sites and these sites only that will garner the top spots in any mobile search result. Do any search on your smartphone today and you will also see the term “mobile-friendly” listed at the beginning of all results deemed as such by Google.

While giving a boost to those businesses that have done what they should do (i.e. make sure that their sites display and function well on mobile devices), Mobilegeddon can also dish out penalties to those that have not. So, if the prospect of moving up in the search rankings isn’t enough motivation for you to make the mobile conversion you need, a Google penalty just might be.

Watch Your Traffic Metrics

One of the best ways to know if your site has been negatively impacted by Mobilegeddon will be via your traffic stats. Organic search traffic for sites hit by this update could plummet by half according to some preliminary estimates.

Just how widespread could the effect of this update be? TechCrunch recently surveyed a large pool of websites and found approximately half of them to be missing the mark in terms of their mobile friendliness.

It is important to note that the mobile algorithm only impacts searches conducted on mobile devices. Any desktop-initiated search will remain unaffected. The full impact of Mobilegeddon may also not yet be seen as Google will be rolling out different elements in phases.

Now is the Time

Fortunately, updating a website to be mobile-friendly in the way that Google wants—which is all about what users need—is getting easier and easier. Even with a great many other businesses likely to be impacted by the newest Google algorithm, you don’t want to let yourself be. This is not a case of misery loving company.

If you need to bump up your mobile game, do it now. Find the right resources and waste no time. For businesses that have fully converted to mobile-friendly platforms, be careful not to just sit back and gloat. There may still be room for improvement so conducting a good audit of your mobile site could pay off well for you at this time. Regardless of which camp you are in, use this new algorithm as your motivation to put mobile as the priority.