What Does The Google Algorithm Change Mean To You?
SEO-related requests are one of the top reasons people contact me these days. Everyone wants their site to appear higher in Google search results, so it’s not surprising that Google’s recent announcement of a new mobile algorithm is causing a stir. I’m guessing many of you want to know more about the change and how it will impact your website’s performance.
To recap the week’s news, Google announced on Tuesday that it was beginning to roll out a new algorithm for mobile search results – the algorithm will now include whether a webpage is mobile friendly or not. The change works on a page-by-page basis and only impacts mobile search results.
Keep in mind that Google doesn't share detailed info about its algorithms, so anyone claiming to be able to tell you the details of Google’s search formula is misleading you.
Mobile-friendly isn’t everything
Don’t despair if your website’s not mobile friendly yet. There are lots of things included in Google’s algorithms, so having a mobile-friendly site isn’t necessarily going to get you high rankings. And if a webpage meets other important measures, it could perform well in mobile searches, regardless of whether it’s mobile friendly or not. However, this algorithm change makes that less likely.
There are many things that Google wants to find on your web pages. For example, you can check your site with SEOprofiler, a website audit tool, to make sure that Google can index all pages of your website. You can also use SEOprofiler's Top 10 Optimizer to make sure that Google shows your webpages for the right keywords.
It’s not everything, but it is important
While having a mobile-friendly site isn’t by itself going to make or break your search results ranking, mobile device use is continuing to grow exponentially. So, for most folks, if you haven’t thought about mobile yet, it’s probably time to start moving in that direction.
Not sure whether your site is mobile friendly?
Google has a handy tool that will check for you. All you have to do is enter your website’s URL and click "Analyze." And one other note: a webpage is either mobile-friendly or it’s not. There’s no such thing as a "sort of" mobile-friendly webpage.
If your website fails the test then you’ll need to adjust the site’s design. Instead of creating a separate website for mobile devices, I recommend using responsive design which adapts the site’s design and content based on the type of device it’s being viewed on. I’ve been designing responsive websites for several years now and many of the most popular content management systems (Wordpress, for example) have themes that support responsive design.
So this announcement from Google doesn't need to worry you ... too much. If your site's not yet mobile friendly, now is a good time to start moving in that direction.