Get Ready for New Google Algorithm Change: Mobilize or Be Penalized
In today’s market, corporations are well aware of the grave effects algorithm changes of Google can have. Having suffered when some such as Demand Media or Ask.com used SEO for bolstering their brand and ignoring the poor content they were publishing is a lesson they will not forget easily. The result of Panda, Google’s 2011 algorithmic change, led the way for the creation of higher quality writing.
Penguin, another of Google’s algorithm changes, targeted sites with poor quality links in 2012. These links led users to poor quality content and their sites were, therefore, severely penalized in ranking by Google. Basically, irrelevant information caused sites to suffer with ranking in Google.
The word is out for Google’s next algorithm change. If your site is not mobile-friendly by April 21st, it will be penalized in its ranking. It may actually be removed from the mobile search index of Google. Maybe your site looks great and works well when a person visits it from a desktop computer, but how does it look and work from a cell phone or tablet? You most definitely should check this out and make necessary changes by April 21st.
What is Google’s reason for this new algorithm change? Since consumers are using mobile devices more and more, Google believes that businesses should get in step with the times. Sites will now be ranked according to the convenience they offer to the mobile-user. The ranking elements Google will be using are listed below.
- Avoid software such as Flash which is not usable on mobile devices. According to Adobe, “Flash Player for mobile devices is officially dead”.
- Use readable text without zooming.
- Size content to allow users to view it on the screen without having to zoom or scroll horizontally.
- Space links apart far enough to allow the correct link to be easily tapped.
Mobilegeddon Is Here!
When conference speakers at last month’s Search Marketing Expo (SMX) West were asked their main takeaways, one response was definitely a sign of the times. “Mobile, mobile, mobile,” was the answer of the senior manager of content marketing for Kenshoo, Kelly Wrather. “I want to grab every website designer and tell them mobile is the thing! It’s the only thing!”
A frequent discussion topic at previous SMX shows has been mobile-optimized websites’ importance. However, this year a sense of urgency was apparent since “Mobilegeddon,” as it is called by some, was due to arrive anytime.
For the past two years, a search ranking factor has been website mobile-friendliness. According to founder and CEO of AudienceBloom, Jayson DeMers, “Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly will see a more negative impact in search visibility than they may already be seeing, and mobile-optimized sites may be rewarded even greater in search rankings.”
Google noted in its June, 2013, Webmaster Central Blog it plans to initiate several ranking changes soon. Google further warned that sites misconfigured for smartphone users will be addressed by these ranking changes.
At the same time, Google pointed out two common mistakes that cause websites to convey poor mobile experiences:
Mistake # 1: Sending smartphone users to a single mobile page due to defective redirects to their site pages listed in search results — For instance, the redirects send users to the home page and not a mobile-optimized version users are seeking.
Mistake #2: Errors of only smartphones – These take place when users of smartphones click Web pages in search results’ listings and receive only error messages.
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