There’s quite a lot of buzz in our industry at the moment about a little something that google are introducing on the 21st of the month called “Mobile Friendly”. In short, this is a new algorithm that Google will be applying to their search engine that’s going to favour websites that work and display well on mobile devices. More importantly those that aren’t mobile friendly will likely be penalised.
When I say there is quite a lot of buzz, what I mean is, you would think the world was about to start spinning the other direction reading some websites. One of the more amusing ramifications of all this buzz has been the coining of terms like “Mobilegeddon” – sensationalism of course – but actually it would appear there is some cause to be concerned.
How big an impact is “Mobile Friendly” likely to have?
In another life I write another blog called 35mmc on the subject of compact film cameras. This topic is geeky enough on it’s own, but actually I also use it as a platform for learning and trialling some of my SEO and inbound marketing techniques – double geekness! Joking aside, since I see fairly significant levels of traffic, it allows me to see the impact these algorithmic changes have without them being able to be written off as coincidence etc.
Its fair to say, that quite a few of these changes over the last year have had only very slight instantaneous effects. Panda 4.0 – one of googles algorithms that looked to boost websites that contain high quality content – saw my organic traffic near double quite literally overnight.
If the rumours are to be believed, this is the sort of impact we are to expect from Mobile Friendly. This is great for me and my mobile friendly website. I – being a massive geek – am genuinely excited to see just how much more traffic I get to my blog on the 22nd of April.
Of course, if a website isn’t mobile friendly, rather than a happy increase in traffic, there is quite likely to be the opposite effect!
How you can find out if you are mobile friendly, and what you should do?
Rather than rewrite and rehash the hundreds of post out there in Internet land, I thought I would just point you in the direction of one of my favourite websites where you can do a bit of reading for yourself.
Search Engine Land is my first port of call for all things SEO. Here are all they have so far published in the category of “Google: Mobile Friendly Update“. Unfortunately, they talk more in my language, rather than layman’s terms. So the following is my quick guide to dealing with this impending potential dooooom:
1. Look at your website. Is it easy to read without having to pinch in and out? If yes, thats a good sign. If not, start to worry.
2. Go to Google on you mobile phone and search for your company or organisation. Does the result have the words “Mobile-Friendly” sat next to it? If yes, you can half breathe a sigh of relief. Not a full one, since this is only telling part of the story, but it does tell you whether or not you are on the right tracks.
3. If you have access to webmaster tools, login, and look under [Search Traffic] -> [Mobile Usability]. If it looks like this:
Then you can probably rest assured that your website isn’t going to drop off the face of the google search engine results pages on the 21st.
4. Regardless of the outcome of the 1. 2. and 3. talk to your web guys! Here at F8 we have access to all the tools and knowledge to dig deeper and find out if you are likely to suffer. Your web guys should have access to the exact same tools … and if they don’t well talk to us instead!