Google is at it again. Shaking things up for everyone involved in the Internet industry, and keeping people on their toes.
This time around, Google is messing with mobile search results. Google wants companies that don’t have their mobile act together to get on the ball, and those that do have a good mobile site will be in better standing. All thanks to a new algorithm.
Google’s New Mobile Algorithm
Starting this Tuesday (tomorrow), Google will not show mobile search results for companies that do not have a good mobile site. This means that anyone looking for a company site via mobile search will not pull up any search results if that company does not have a mobile site that is easily accessible and easy to read. Those with a good mobile site will be placed at the top of the search results. In other words, if you don’t have a good mobile site, you’ll be left out.
If you’re thinking that you don’t need a good mobile site because you don’t live in the US, you’re wrong. Google’s new algorithm will be impacting every company in the world, so you really need to have that mobile site up and running shortly. This change is going to be a big one too.
The Official Announcement
Google is always tweaking its algorithms, but the company rarely announces these changes. The latest mobile change, however, was publicly announced by the company. This means that Google expects the changes to be huge, and it also expects companies to comply with the new mobile changes. Companies that do not have good mobile sites will lose revenue due to a lack of search results. It’s really that simple.
If your site is not mobile optimized, a site warning will appear. That page will note that your site is not mobile friendly, and it includes a few checklist items. Mobile sites have to have text that’s the right size for a screen, that doesn’t include links that are too close together, and that can be easily read from most types of mobile screens.
Responsive Design Details
Most companies that do have mobile sites have something called responsive design. Responsive design occurs when a site has been optimized to fit a mobile screen precisely based on the screen size of the device used. So, if you’re browsing from an iPhone 6, the site will recognize your device, and the screen will change accordingly. This is often the best way to make sure that a mobile site can be easily read.
Whether you go with responsive design or not is up to you, but Google is making it clear today that all sites must have some kind of mobile optimization. No site at all? You’re easily missing out on a large amount of traffic, and that means missing out on revenue. No mobile site? Any revenue you picked up from mobile browsing (50% of searches according to Google) will soon be gone.
This news from Google is going to leave a lot of companies scrambling to set up mobile sites. While it will throw some companies into a panic, it’s also the only way that Google can force some companies without mobile optimization to start realizing that mobile is here to stay.