How the Google Mobile Friendly Update on 21 April 15 affects your business
A couple of conversations this week demonstrated a lot of confusion about the pending Google update, so I thought I would post this to provide a better understanding of the possible effects.
On the 21 April 15, Google is rolling out a change to it’s search algorithm that will focus on whether your website is mobile friendly (responsive) or not.
If your website it does not pass the Google mobile friendly test, then Google will penalise your website in natural search rankings. There may also be some AdWords (Google advertising) impact as your Google quality score will no doubt receive a new rating and be affected.
First the disclaimer: I am providing my interpretation of possible effects based upon Google’s announcement. Only Google will be able to state with clarity what impacts will actually result. I have provided the announcement link below so that you can form your own opinion.
So my website does NOT pass Google’s mobile friendly test, then what?
1. Your website will continue to function
2. If your Website has a mobile redirect link to a separate mobile URL (for example: m.url or url.mobi) these will continue to provide your visitors with a better mobile experience.
3. If you are running Google AdWords advertising then this will continue to function however probably not as efficiently or effectively (cost more to get the same results), but longer term this will be a big issue for you.
So what then is the problem?
It all revolves around what Google displays when somebody does a search.
For example if Google takes it to the extreme, then if you own the only bakery in a place called Bake-town, and people were doing a Google search for bakeries in Bake-town, then Google will not display this business and probably display the details of a competing bakery from the next town that has a mobile friendly website.
So if your website contributes to your sales to new customers, then this will cause you a problem. (Note: if your website is not contributing to your sales you have a bigger problem anyway and you need to contact me)
The next important point is that it does not matter what your best friend, web developer or I have to say. Your site must pass the Google mobile test, because there are many mobile experience factors that can still fail you, even if you have a mobile responsive website, such as the display text may be too small.
What do I need to do?
1. Check your website with Google to see if it passes or not. It is simple to do, the link is below
If it does not pass then you do need to address this issue because longer term this will hurt your business.
More than 50% of all buyer research and search by consumers is now conducted on a mobile device (smartphones), therefore without a mobile friendly site, then everyday less new customers will be coming into your business as a result of your website.
If the Google fail issue is as simple as the text is too small, then this can probably be rectified on your current website. However, if your current website is not mobile responsive then chances are it is more cost effective to get a new website frame work (content will probably be OK), because it is old and probably needs a re-vamp anyway.
Redirects to a mobile URL is also not a solution because the Googlebot will crawl the main website and still fail it because it cannot take into account the mobile redirection.
The positive point for businesses with a compliant mobile friendly website is you will outrank (do better and get more business) in Google search that your competitors who have not addressed this problem.
Hopefully this provides some insight into the pending change and how it affects you.
If you have any queries or need help with this issue then contact me
Lead Loyalty Marketing
PS.- Word of Warning - Do not go and choose a new URL (domain name) for a new mobile friendly website without first consulting somebody who can advise you. Implementing a new domain name (URL) will lose whatever current rankings you had worked long and hard to obtain. For many this may not be an issue, but for some businesses this could be a huge setback.
Google Announcement Link: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/finding-more-mobile-friendly-search.html.