A Note on ‘Mobilegeddon’ Posted by: Kenny S on 15/05/2015

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Google’s recent search algorithm update is a significant industry development - it prioritises mobile-friendly web content for users accessing the search engine from a mobile device.

From the 21st April this year, if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’ll find yourself with a low score for ‘mobile-friendliness’ and could find your site sliding rapidly down the search rankings on mobile devices until you find yourself in Google obscurity. And let’s face it, that sounds pretty bleak.

Why is everyone talking about ‘Mobilegeddon’?

  • It’s a revolutionary policy change – instead of simply punishing bad behaviour, Google are driving mobile-first best practice as the only viable option for the future.
  • The update was announced two months before it rolled out; algorithm updates aren’t usually announced at all. This suggests that Google expect this update to have a huge impact on search rankings.

So if you’re a web owner with an online customer base, it’s essential that your web policy becomes mobile-first as soon as possible.

The road ahead

All indicators show that mobile-first design is here to stay. In fact, it’s likely Google will continue improving and refining their algorithm so it becomes even better at recognising best practice UX design for mobile screens, as well as screens for an increasing array of wearable tech.  

This update is not unexpected; it’s a reaction to the ever-increasing prevalence of mobile devices. In fact, Google recently announced that they now receive more search queries from users on mobile devices than on users on desktops.

The updated algorithm encourages the development of good web practice and it rewards those who are best at satisfying the existing requirements of Google’s mobile customers. And it’s important to take heed, as Google’s customers are ultimately your customers too – how can users give you their business if they can’t find you?

How do you get started? 

If you find yourself at the sharp end of the algorithm update, you can take several steps. Firstly, you can visit Google’s mobile-friendly site test to see what shape your site is in here.

There are small changes Google suggests that you can make to improve usability on a small screen: 

  • Increase link spacing so your site is usable on a small screen
  • Get rid of pop-ups
  • Reduce image size
  • Reduce resolution to increase download speed.

But these are ultimately stopgap solutions. The best strategy is to invest in a responsive site that translates beautifully across all platforms, and is easy to update through a single CMS.

Get in touch

If you want to learn more about best practice responsive design, or how to keep your website mobile-first then give us a call, pop in and see us here in our studio. Alternatively, take a look at some examples of our responsive websites in our work section.

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