Search Engines Simplified - A Weekly Blog

Go SEO is a blog about simplifying search engine optimization and search engine marketing


Mobile mania, and things yet to come

April 20, 2015 • Scott Zeller

First, I'd like to welcome you to my new weekly blog, where we'll be discussing all things search engines. From SEO (search engine optimization) to web design to SEM (search engine marketing), and everything in between, my mission will be to simplify these often technical and every-changing disciplines in ways that you, the small business owner, can not only understand, but can easily apply in your own marketing efforts.

So before we go any further, let's address the elephant in the room.

This week is considered a very big week in the merry o' land of search engines. Tomorrow, on April 21st, Google will begin rolling out a new algorithm, the calculations they use to determine a website's ranking in the search engine results, that will be heavily influenced by a site's "mobile-friendliness." In other words, if your website is NOT mobile-friendly, or does not provide a good user experience on mobile devices (phone and tablets), then it likely will be penalized and drop in the search engine results pages (SERPs). So what does that mean for you, and how do you know if your site is mobile-friendly? First, CLICK HERE to test your website for mobile-friendliness. If your site passes the test, then all is well.

If it doesn't, don't panic. One of the biggest challenges with SEO (optimizing your site so it naturally ranks in the SERPs. In other words, you're not spending any money) is that Google does not directly reveal how all of the over 200 variables in its algorithm are weighted. Some variables are more influential than others in the calculation. So we only learn how these algorithms are structured by testing the different variables in real-world scenarios. But that's a discussion for another time.

It has warned us that the new mobile-influenced algorithm is coming, but it has not revealed how much weight the mobile variables will carry in the new algorithm. So while some industry experts are anticipating that it will heavily influence the rankings, others are downplaying its potential impact. So at this point, it's all speculation and anticipation, until it happens.

So what if your site is not mobile friendly, what do you do? My recommendation is to immediately develop an action plan to get it mobile ready. You have to move now. Contact your web guy, and have him do a quick audit of the site (if necessary) on what needs to be done. Worst case scenario is you'll need a new website, although most sites can be brought up to speed without having to take on such a large, resource-consuming endeavor. And until your site is mobile-friendly, use paid search (Adwords) to keep your company on the first page of the SERPs.

And, of course, check back here, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook as we keep a close eye on the situation and its impact over the next few weeks.

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