Google changed its search algorithm on April 21 to reward mobile-friendly sites with better ranking on mobile devices. This so-called “Mobilegeddon” threatened to change the landscape of mobile search by penalizing websites that weren’t mobile ready.
But did it really?
According to a recent article in Website Magazine, “the scale of this radical change by Google is… minimal at best.” The article went on to quote Google spokeswoman Krisztina Radosavljevic-Szilagyi who said, “The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal – so if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query. The ranking update will not make it rank below lower quality pages that are mobile friendly.”
So, why all the fuss about “mobilegeddon” anyway?
Online marketing firm Portent conducted a study across 25,000 “top-rated” websites in an attempt to evaluate just how many businesses are ready for this change. The study found that 2 out of every 5 websites, or 10,000 sites, failed the test and are not mobile ready.
Ian Lurie, CEO of Portent, believes small business owners and entrepreneurs haven’t made the change for financial reasons. He was quoted in a statement to NPR saying, “Even if you’re building a brand new website, it’s more expensive to build a website that’s ready and renders well on a mobile device than to build a site that just looks good on the desktop. … It’ll be 25 percent or so higher than building a site that is only desktop ready.”
I don’t buy it.
Many small business owners use WordPress as a platform for their website. And WordPress has plenty of mobile-responsive themes available – some of them for FREE!
I think one reason some business owners haven’t made the change is simply that they’re not aware of the need. But the fact is that the majority of Google searches takes place on a smartphone or tablet today, not on a desktop.
Mobile searchers want an easy experience when they come to a website. If they have to scroll and pinch to view your content, it’s highly unlikely they will do so. What’s more likely, is that they will look for another website that IS mobile-friendly to solve their problem, answer their question, etc.
The moral of mobilegeddon? Get thee a mobile-friendly website as soon as you can. Your business depends on it.
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