Two significant technological forces are set to collide on Tuesday, April 21: Google's dominance in the search market (roughly 65% in the United States, over 70% in Europe), and the growing popularity of mobile Web site access (according to Cisco, mobile Internet traffic rose 69% in 2014 alone).
In November 2014, Google warned that it was planning to put more emphasis on mobile accessibility by creating and implementing a "mobile-friendly" tag for sites that are easily viewable on mobile devices.
That was a preview of a more significant announcement that was posted on February 26 to the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog byTakaki Makino, Chaesang Jung, and Doantam Phan. They warned webmasters that the search giant would be making two important changes to its search algorithms. The potential impact of the changes is so significant that many webmasters dubbed April 21 as "Mobilegeddon."
"Starting April 21," the Google staff wrote, "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."
The second change, which was implemented immediately, gives increased weight to information from indexed mobile apps for signed-in users who have the app installed on their mobile device.
Coping with "Mobilegeddon"
Webmasters around the world have expressed concern that when Google unleashes its new algorithm, sites that are not mobile-friendly will be denigrated in search results, making it harder for Internet users to find them.
In an effort to minimize the impact of its change, Google offered webmasters a tool for testing whether or not their site is mobile-friendly: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.
After webmasters enter the URL of their site, Google runs a series of tests and produces a report. Sites that dynamically adjust their content to accommodate mobile devices (for instance, those built on a CMS like Wordpress) typically have no problem passing.
However, older sites that don't automatically adjust their content may see error messages like "Text too small," "Links too close together," "Content wider than screen," and so on.
The intensity of webmaster reaction is a reflection of the enormous influence that Google has on online businesses. Various surveys suggest that as many as half of large online business and even higher percentages of small companies have sites that do not qualify as "mobile friendly" according to Google.
The potential impact is so significant that the Council of Small Business Australia petitioned Google to delay the implementation of its algorithm changes to give the nation's small businesses more time to update their Web sites.
Despite the temporary pain and frustration that may result from Google's search changes, there is widespread consensus that in the long run, businesses will benefit from giving consumers better access to their sites on mobile devices. The world is on the move, and businesses need to keep up.
Posted: 2015-04-20 @ 11:31pm PT
Though at first thought this sounds good, and forward thinking, it may have the opposite effect. First of all, it is somewhat of an elitist thing to do. Companies need to be big enough and have enough money to be able to make their sites mobile friendly. How much trouble do people actually have accessing websites on their mobile devices? Currently, my main issue is not that I can't read the site, but that typically the big companies/ advertisers get the first page or two. Seems like this change, while theoretically a great idea, will make this issue worse. Also, the mobile friendly sites or at least apps are shortened versions of the "real" site , and are less likely to have everything you need. If you only access your info from one of these sites, you may have no idea what is actually available on the more comprehensive, though less mobile friendly site, or even how to find that information. For example, I have to make sure I don't use the Dominoes app if I want to access the Free delivery I have paid for. I need to go off my Bank of America app in order to access more detailed info like a list of bills to pay, and recent amounts. And my iPad keeps on wanting me to choose the more mobile friendly versions of multiple sites, although these sites give me a very limited menu. Eventually will I be unable to do much of anything on my mobile devices due to a focus on mobile friendly over actual content? I would rather it be I that choose what kind of info/ sites I need. Mobile friendly is nice, but it is just one piece of the big picture. I am also concerned what this change will cause to limit the average individual/ company who can't afford a "mobile friendly" site. Sure if you work at Google, or are in the tech industry or part of a big company, it seems easy. But that is not the average person or company. While the general premise is that sites should be mobile friendly, the way this is being carried out seems a bit short sighted, as it will effectively limit your search significantly. I want the best possible options, not the mobile friendly options. Again, it is also a little too advantageous for wealthier or very tech savvy individuals. I am sure it will be painful initially, and that the most mobile friendly will survive, but that is not how I like to judge the overall quality of something. I will be searching for more legitimate search results elsewhere, and urge others to do the same.
Posted: 2015-04-20 @ 4:07pm PT
If you have not heard already, Google is making a major change to their search algorithm on Tuesday, April 21st and this could have major impacts on durable medical equipment businesses. The search engine will be adding one of the most major updates on how websites will be ranked in search results, rewarding companies who have mobile friendly websites and penalizing those websites that do not. Most home medical equipment companies do not have mobile friendly websites meaning that those recent excellent positions that they may have had locally with such keywords as: wheelchairs, scooter, walkers, braces, home modification, ramps, medical supplies, etc will most likely be severely impacted and will lose their rankings and lose out on many of the leads that have come in from Google searches for this type of equipment.