Today Google is updating their algorithm and expanding the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in search results. This update is expected to bring big changes to rankings and search results, and businesses who don’t currently have a mobile-friendly website (whether responsive or a mobile version) will be hit the hardest. Users are calling it “Mobilegeddon.”
Google said, “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”
Google’s Panda and Penguin updates are historically two of the most hard-hitting algorithm updates released by Google and according to a member of Google’s Webmaster team – the mobile update will be just as, if not more, significant than Panda and Penguin.
It’s still too early to tell how search results will change in Google with this update, but we already know that Google is using the “mobile-friendly” label as an indicator to mobile users that a website will work well on their smartphone or tablet device.
The good news here is that if you do not have a mobile-friendly website, Google says your desktop rankings with not be impacted. Users searching for your business on a desktop device will not be affected by this mobile algorithm update. Keep in mind, however, that mobile search traffic has already surpassed that of desktop. The mobile traffic being driven to your site from Google is significant and you can expect it continuing to increase in coming months and years – so get started on building that mobile-friendly website if you’re not already.
Pay Close Attention to Your SERP Rankings
Today and in the coming weeks be sure to monitor your mobile rankings closely. If you notice your website dropping position in search results, you can test your website’s “mobile-friendliness” using this mobile-friendly checker tool. However, the only way to really sustain your rankings is by ensuring your website either has a mobile version or is responsive – and if you don’t already you’ll need to build one fast.
Add a Prominent Phone Number to Your Mobile-Friendly Site
For your mobile-friendly site, be sure to include a prominent phone number or clickable “Call” button. Smartphone visitors often prefer to convert on mobile sites by calling a business rather than filling out a web form. This is especially true when they visit mobile sites from search: Over 50% of searches now take place on mobile devices like smartphones, and analyst firm BIA/Kelsey reports that these mobile searches drove 38 billion calls to businesses in the U.S. last year, with that number expected to almost double by 2018. You should also consider tracking calls from visitors of your mobile-friendly site back to the specific marketing channel (Search, social, display, offline, etc.) to prove and improve ROI.. Call tracking software can help.
If you have more questions about this update, this blog by Moz does a great job answering questions about the mobile-friendly update.