Extra! Extra! Google Launches Mobile Algorithm Update

Adjusting for Modern Mobility


Extra! Extra! Google Launches Mobile Algorithm Update

Google is no stranger to algorithm updates with a long history that has contributed to its rise and current status as a search engine powerhouse. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that given our current mobile focused way of life, it was only a matter of time before Google pounced on creating an algorithm for optimized mobile search. Nonetheless, the announcement had the interwebs abuzz, primarily from a business standpoint. From a consumer perspective it sounds like a great opportunity, but what does it mean for businesses?

To provide a bit of background, in 2014 research showed that 30% of internet searches came from a mobile device and since then, that number has increased to over 60%. As a result, Google naturally decided it was time for an update as a means of accommodate the masses. Having already launched 3 days ago (we’re a little late on the mark), the algorithm in question is essentially a way to reward sites that are optimized for mobile browsing.

For businesses this is big news and no doubt caused some anxiety in the SEO industry. In previous years your rank in a search engine was often determined by your content, keywords and links (amongst other things of course) but now your mobile friendliness will also have an impact. For unresponsive sites, this is obviously bad news and those businesses stand to lose up to a third of their traffic by being ranked lower down on Google. According to the research firm SumAll, more than two thirds of Fortune 100 companies are not prepared for Mobilegeddon, as the update has been referred to, but on the bright side at least there are no aliens, zombies or AI’s threatening the human race for this comparative Armageddon, so it could be worse!

But getting back into serious talk… is the hype really warranted? This is one of the biggest updates Google has announced in years so it certainly seems that way and there is no denying the significant impact it’s already had. The main things to keep in mind, at least when it comes to determining how mobile friendly your site is, is having readable text, content that fits the screen (avoiding the ol’ pinch and zoom) and spacing your links out so they’re easy to tap correctly. And reconsider any Flash content; as a form of media that isn’t supported on mobile devices it won’t work well in your favor and will weigh heavily against you when Google arrives for reckoning day. Dun dun dun!

Overall it’s the most logical next step for Google and in terms of user experience, it only emphasizes the importance of having a site that caters to all forms of browsing. Rather than being perceived as a threat, it represents itself as an opportunity for businesses to evolve their mobile strategies. Even better news is if you’re a company that fully utilizes mobile optimization you’re already ahead of the game so give yourself a pat on the back!