Speaking in their blog last month, Google announced that they were going to be making a big change to how their search engine worked, one that could drastically affect your natural search positions. The search engine announced that they were going to incorporate mobile-friendliness as a factor into their algorithm - but what does this mean?
In a bid to cater to its growing number of mobile users (i.e. people who access Google via their smart phones or tablet devices), Google has declared that sites which are optimised for mobile will now show up higher in the search rankings. Put simply, this means that companies who have their own mobile websites will now achieve higher Google positions, but only when searched for on mobile devices - still confused?
In its simplest form, a mobile website has been specifically designed for smart-phone and tablet browsers. These sites are much easier for mobile users to navigate as they’re optimised for smaller, touch screen technology currently utilised by most smart devices. Therefore, mobile sites provide a more straightforward, and therefore pleasant, user experience, which is Google’s top priority.
Consequently, they are now adding mobile user-friendliness as an important factor in the Google search algorithm, so that people using the search engine on the move can find relevant content in the easiest, most straightforward manner. To use an example, imagine you’ve just been out for dinner with friends and are now searching for a taxi company on your mobile. Of the top sites available, Google will prioritise the sites that are easiest for you to navigate using your smart-device, thus improving your user experience. Remember, however, that this won’t necessarily reflect the order of search results for PC and laptop users.
Preparing for the Change
It’s easy to get swept up into a growing ‘Google panic’ about developing a mobile site or being left behind, but you should consider the following factors first. It’s important to be aware of how people access your site, and in what contexts they would use your service; if, for example, you were a wholesale food supplier, it’s unlikely that customers would convert over mobile devices, so the upcoming change shouldn’t really impact upon your digital leads. You should also remember that the algorithm change applies only to natural search positions, so you can still retain a strong presence on Google using their AdWords service, regardless of whether or not your site is optimised for mobile.
Finally there’s also the obvious option; investing in a mobile site. Studies and trends suggest that more users than ever are accessing the internet through their smart-phone and tablet devices, so if you think a mobile site is relevant to the requirements of your industry, this could be just the push you need to warrant an investment.
If you’re worried about how the Google algorithm change will affect your business, please get in touch today for some impartial advice on what’s best for your business.