4/21/2015 Google SEO Algorithm Change!
If SEO rankings are important for your business, you need to immediately take action! We have known for several years that websites that are mobile friendly tend to rank higher than competitor websites that are not mobile compatible with responsive design. Some businesses customers are not typically on mobile while other verticals almost exclusively operate via mobile devices.
It is rare for Google to publish news of an update in advance of pushing their proprietary algorithm in production, but they have been notifying webmasters and recently published a blog. The notifications first started going out a few weeks ago and you would see the messages in your Google Webmaster Tool’s account.
Google stated that as of April 21, there will be increased weight given to the mobile-friendliness of sites: “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
The email alerts are coming directly from your Google Webmaster Tool’s account and look like:
Fix mobile usability issues found on http://www.yoursite.com
To: webmaster of http://www.yoursite.com
Google systems have tested 12 pages from your site and found that 100% of them have critical mobile usability errors. The errors on these 12 pages severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website. These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.
Recommended Next Steps
- IMMEDIATELY check here to see if your website is mobile friendly
- Check your Google Webmaster Tools dashboard for website messages and alerts.
- Check your Google Analytics Audience Mobile Devices Report. Look for user experience issues such as high bounce rate, low time on page, low time on site.
Example Analytics Audience Mobile Devices Report:
- Cross browser test your mobile site with the top 20 mobile devices that are reporting in your Google Analytics.
- Engage your designer to create a responsive design website
- Engage your web developer to update the site and rebuild as mobile friendly and responsive.
- Update the sitemap and resubmit your site to Google
- Update you AdWords Campaigns, update mobile campaign settings and A/b tests your ads to display mobile friendly
Those are the 8 immediate steps you need to take action on. There are about 20 additional advanced mobile technology updates that are needed to adopt all best practices. There are two primary reasons you want to adopt all best practices, first you will get more website traffic. Second, your customers will have a better user experience while engaging your brand and you will have higher conversion rates.
The most important reason is that you will not lose rankings to your competitors!