23 Mar Google Search Mobile Friendly Algorithm Update: Does this Spell Disaster for You?
Google has recently advertised that it will be bringing out a new Algorithm update that will effectively penalise sites that are not built to be mobile friendly with responsive template. This update will be coming out on the 21st of April 2015.
There is good news and bad news. The good news is that most modern sites are already mobile- friendly to some degree so will not be directly affected. This however is going to spell trouble for many sites who have fallen behind.
If you are using WordPress for your website then many of the premade templates that you can buy are already responsive. The irony of this update is that it is potentially going to be the big company sites that have been around for a long time that are in line to get hit by this. It will be the little guys who have their own websites that will not feel this update, and may even benefit from the extra traffic generated from their new-found rankings
There is also talk that this update will be bigger than Panda and Penguin in terms of the sites that it will an impact on. If you think about it, nearly 50% of searches on Google now are done on mobile devices so there is a potential to lose out on a lot of traffic from this update if your site is not catering for this.
So How Will This Affect You? The Bad News…
If you already have a responsive website then pat yourself on the back and relax. When the 21st of April comes round you can sleep easy knowing your online investment will still be performing as it has been (if not even better). If your site is not mobile-ready then you may be in for a bumpy ride.
If you are website that provides a service like lock smiths then this impact will be huge – you could lose more than 50% of your traffic as most of the people that are on your site will have got there by using their mobile. If you have an ecommerce site then this will also be a big blow for you potentially. For those who run more informational sites this will not have such a big impact.
The thing is that everyone will be affected by this; some more than others, but in the end everyone that does not have a mobile friendly site will feel the effect of this in some way.
The Good News…
As far as I can see your site will not actually get penalised; rather other mobile-friendly sites competing in the same space will be put ahead of yours (you will lose rankings and traffic as a result). While these other sites will be pushed ahead now, you should be able to get your rankings back once that this has been rectified. It is important to note that this is just my speculation of how things will transpire as right now there is not very much more out there on this.
There is a silver lining to this cloud. Upgrading to a responsive theme will most likely boost your conversions by dropping your bounce rate. If your site is not responsive there is a very good chance that most of the traffic that you are getting from mobile devices is bouncing off your site and going somewhere else instead.
This will be your opportunity to fix a problem that has been there all along as well as set you in a new direction that will keep you current with the mobile search trends for the near future.