There’s a lot of buzz about Google’s upcoming algorithm update that will hit on April 21st. (Psst, if you don’t know what an algorithm is, don’t stress – it means the mathematical equation that helps drive how websites appear in the search engine results pages).
This new Google mobile algorithm update (according to web articles) says that websites that do not perform well on mobile devices will be harder to find in search engine results pages. We’ve even seen articles say that if websites are not optimized for mobile that they could disappear from small screens entirely. Nobody will know for sure until the new update takes effect.
The new algorithm is being dubbed “MobileGeddon” and it’s causing some serious stress. Design firms are aggressively cold calling companies telling them that their sites are going to search engine optimization hell if they don’t have a mobile-friendly site (nice fear-based sales tactic, ugh). Digital marketing experts are telling people on their blogs to fire their web teams if they can’t build mobile-friendly sites. Businesses large and small are beginning to evaluate how friendly their sites are (if you want to know how – here is a link to Google’s Mobile-friendly test). And business owners are beginning to panic about having to overhaul their websites.
Should you freak out? NO. Should you scream at your web designer (unless they built your site less than six months ago and didn’t make it responsive, then no) Could this be an opportunity to plan for some web changes? Maybe. Look at it this way – just like fashion trends change, search engine results trends change too. Could your site suffer SEO-wise because it’s not mobile-friendly? In mobile searches, probably. Do you need a new website? It depends. Be strategic. Think. Ask yourself if you afford to redesign your site time or cost-wise? Are you a company that relies on mobile searches?
Look at the new algorithm change as Google making way for the rise in mobile use. They are going to favor sites that are designed to be responsive (which means sites automagically adapt layout-wise based on device, see example below.)
Responsive design and new search engine results pages layouts are a sign of the times, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to redesign your site over the next few weeks. This responsive design style is still fairly new in web years.
If you are interested in a responsive design, know that it is a fantastic move for user experience and it seems that soon it might have additional search optimization benefits. What we like about responsive design is that is it clean and simple. The focus is on pithy and powerful content and meaningful messaging. We are designing all new sites to be responsive and are loving the outcomes of the sites.
And you are stressing about MobileGeddon, take a deep breath. Stress is no state to be making business decisions under. If you want to talk about your feelings, feel free to get on our therapy couch.