Toward the end of April, Google rolled out a new algorithm. The purpose of this change was to push websites that work well on smartphones, giving them an edge over those which haven’t yet been optimized. As mentioned, if your site is mobile-friendly, it will rank much higher on a phone or tablet.
Now that the dust has settled from what webmasters and web developers have dubbed “Mobilegeddon,” search engine marketers began picking up the pieces. It’s time to see the extent of the damage, and how it can be repaired.
Is it all doom and gloom?
Stone Temple Consulting, a Massachusetts-based digital marketing agency,ran some tests on some of the top-ranked search results before and after the new changes were rolled out.
What was found is nearly half of non-mobile-friendly pages dropped over their mobile search ranking. This is a significant drop. On the other hand, sites that already had a mobile-friendly presence kept their ranking.
Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Zineb Ait Bahajji claimed during a panel at SMX Munich that the April 21 change was bigger than the Panda and the Penguin updates that had caused so much grief previously. This change seems to significantly affect small- and medium-sized businesses. A survey in May revealed that 2,000 SMB (Small and Medium Businesses) with less than fifty employees showed a drop in their mobile rankings.
It's not the end of the world
This change was rolled out slow, and, like other major changes in Google's search algorithms, it will take some time to be complete. So far, it seems that it is still unknown how rankings will change. Larry Kim, founder and CTO at Boston-based SEO firm WordStream, believes it's because Google would be foolish not to send the brand searches to the brand page. Even if the site isn't mobile-friendly.
As an example, if sneaker giant Nike didn’t have a mobile presence (they have a mobile site) it would make no sense to search for “Nike shoes” to Amazon.com. However, searching for “comfortable soccer shoes” would go to a competitor first, who may be mobile-ready.
What should I do now?
This would be a perfect time to start planning your 2015/2016 redesign and development to be more in line with current standards of mobile searching and SEO. You can then craft your new site to be fine-tuned with current mobile search standards, and better SEO placement to get you the best bang for your buck.
ProBlogger.com stated recently that now would also be a great time to repurpose old content. Getting rid of old, out-of-date content is a great feeling. Just remember to 301 redirect remove content (an article for another time)! Better content = better SERP (Search Engine Results Page) placement.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to talk with you about your search rankings, mobile web needs, and your web marketing needs.