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It’s Mobilegeddon! Understanding Google’s Mobile Priorities and What It Means for Your Online Business

Google is known to prioritize user experience above all. With each algorithm update, its search engine sheds a substantial number of irrelevant results to place sites offering quality content higher search rankings. This time around, Google makes a move to make the search experience even better for mobile users.

Back in 2015, Google officially announced that more search users are coming from mobile devices than personal computers. Consequently, they integrated mobile-friendliness in their ranking algorithms—rewarding websites that have mobile optimization while de-valuing those without. That is when digital a majority of marketers scrambled to implement mobile optimization in their existing sites as well as upcoming projects.

However, it was not until May 2016 when Google rolled out another update that pushed mobile-friendly websites further into top ranks. Dubbed as the “Mobilegeddon 2” by the SEM community, the update focused on emphasizing mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor while punishing sites that are still not optimized for mobile users.

 

The Aftermath

Days after both 2015 and 2016 updates, many websites saw drastic changes in their mobile traffic. If you did not have mobile optimization before, chances are you were one of the brands who watched as their traffic dropped and income plummeted overnight. You might as well be part of the 25% that embraced a mobile optimization strategy in response.

Remember that SEO is only a piece of a much bigger puzzle. On top of lower rankings in search engines, websites that do not implement mobile optimization also offer reduced experience to more than half of their traffic, resulting in higher bounce rates, a stained brand image, and substantial revenue loss. On the other hand, mobile-friendly websites provided consistent user experience across all platforms and overall secured more conversions.

 

What is Mobile-Friendliness?

Mobile-friendliness is the browsing experience aspect for smartphone and tablet users. Due to the smaller screens available for these devices, the design and navigation elements of desktops render incorrectly; thus, ruining the browsing experience of visitors. Mobile optimization deals with this issue either by rerouting mobile traffic to a different URL or implementing responsive design.

In responsive design, design elements like headers, content containers, and forms are resized and repositioned to keep the interface streamlined. As opposed to building a mobile version of your site from scratch, implementing responsive design is a lot easier and more affordable. Furthermore, a lot of templates and themes from site builders and content management systems already have responsive in mind. The only concern is that making tweaks to your site’s code can be a lot trickier.

As far as SEO goes, remember that mobile-friendliness is only one of the many factors for search engine rankings, so be sure to focus on those as well. You can check the mobile-friendliness of your site through Google’s very own Mobile-Friendly Test. All you need to do is input your site’s URL to receive insights from Google itself. You will also receive tips on how you can improve your site for the latest mobile-friendly update.

 

What it means for E-Commerce Businesses

The e-commerce industry is undoubtedly an extremely competitive industry. According to statistics, e-commerce websites are the quickest to adapt to all online marketing trends; with a 71% mobile adoption rate for all e-commerce sites from only 58% in 2015.

Keep in mind that there is no room for subpar in the e-commerce industry. You need to embrace and leverage change to keep up with the best in the competition. As of now, up to 70% of all websites now have mobile optimization. That said, you need to act fast and implement your mobile strategy to avoid being left too far behind. If you need help gearing up for Google’s mobile-friendly update, contact us and get your free quote today.

 

What is the Latest Update for 2018?

Google is now starting to prioritize indexing with Mobile-first, meaning they will use the mobile version of your website for indexing and ranking. Traditionally they crawled the desktop version of websites, but now with more users using mobile for search, it’s a step in the right direction.

 

Karim Khan is a Sydney-based technologist and entrepreneur from Sydney, Australia. He has over 15 years experience in the digital landscape and has worked with some of Australia's largest brands.

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