What have the effects of Google's Mobile Friendly search updates been?

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Peter Wilkinson

Earlier this year, on April 21st, Google rolled out the latest update to their ever-changing search algorithm. It’s been labeled ‘Mobilegeddon’ by SEO experts, but what is it, what effect has it had, on who and what can you do about it?

Long story short, the update put an increased importance on websites optimised for mobile and search rankings would reflect this over time. For businesses this meant if they didn’t have a mobile friendly website and theirs competitors did, all other things being equal, the competition’s website would rank higher than theirs in the near future.

So, what does mobile friendly mean?

In short, it means a website that is setup to have a good user experience when viewed on mobile devices – phones, tablets, etc. The most common methods of doing this is either creating an adaptive website, which means a version designed especially for desktops, another for phones and yet another for tablets, or responsively, which means your site rearranges itself for every type or size of screen it’s viewed on. As a side note, there are rumblings that Google’s search algorithm prefers the responsive route.

Now, almost 2 months on, it appears that small businesses have seen the biggest effect on their search rankings. Why? Koozai’s CEO, Ben Norman, had this to say:

“Many consumers today will research on mobile and then purchase on desktop. Many small businesses are missing out on these lead-creation opportunities if they don’t know if their e-commerce websites aren’t giving their potential customers a good experience on mobile.”

This means that if a potential customer can’t find you on their mobile whilst doing a bit of pre-purchasing research, they’re less likely to find you when they then move to their desktop to make a purchase. For small businesses, that is a major sting in the tail.

The quickest way to check if your site is mobile optimised is to pop your it’s address into Google’s handy tool to check – https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

For the past few years, mobile has been the future of the web. Whilst things have been changing for a while now, this move by Google puts mobile firmly in the present. If you’ve not already, it’s time to make that change and make sure you’re ready for whatever comes next.

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