Google’s Mobilegeddon and Its Effects
Mobilegeddon was launched on 21st April 2015, showcasing a new search algorithm update which added a new factor to the ranking criteria, based on mobile-friendliness of the websites. The term “Mobilegeddon” (a fusion of “mobile” and “Armageddon”) was coined to sum up the prophecy that this new factor would shake the page ranking world.
Why did Google expand its algorithm and include the mobile-friendliness?
On 5th May 2015, Google announced that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan”. Taking into consideration the changing face of search-hood, Google introduced a new factor of mobile-friendliness to the ranking algorithm. A website is considered mobile-friendly in case its content can be displayed comfortably, without any formatting issues on hand-held devices.
How has Mobilegeddon hit the ranking world?
Initially, when the new factor was introduced to ranking criteria, there were claims that it would not affect the landscape much. However, what sets apart smart algorithms is their capacity to patiently work out its success before announcing the triumph. Now, as quoted by Alistair Barr in the piece “Google’s ‘Mobilegeddon’ was a Big Deal, after all”, the CEO of Stone Temple Consulting, Eric Enge recalls “The non-mobile friendly pages got whacked, but there was definitely a delay”. Research studies by Stone Temple Consulting reveal that ranks of over 45% of the non-mobile friendly sites dropped heavily with addition of the new factor. This insight was corroborated by other surveys and studies done by s360 Consulting and Searchmetrics. Even though the world was undergoing a delayed realization about effect of Mobilegeddon, the Google executives predicted that it would have more influence on the page rankings than the Panda and Penguin algorithms.
What is Mobilegeddon teaching us?
Undeniably, the most important benefit of making your website mobile-friendly is to increase the conversion rates and consequently the revenue by pushing up your search engine rank. But more importantly, it is a long-term investment with your customers by providing them an impeccable user experience. At the core of Mobilegeddon is the echo of enhanced and intimate user experience. Since mobiles today are almost a companion to their owners, only those companies which can comfortably enter this zone can gain loyalty and retain interest.
The age of smart designing would reverse the process of building websites. Instead of optimizing the website from desktop towards the mobile devices, smart designers would begin by prioritizing the content for mobile devices and then move on to the desktops (“Progressive Enhancement”).
If search engine rankings are not a strong motivation for you, then the fact that your users would feel at home in your company through such mobile-friendliness should be encouraging enough to take notice of Mobilegeddon. Those who are tired of flipping through SEO reports and working out complex equations on SEO must remember that user experience is the overarching bracket on all the factors – if your user experience is awesome, then the SEO will automatically be improvised.
How do you make your website mobile-friendly?
Making your website mobile-friendly is made easy by a series of well-tested tools and strategies. Here is a step-wise guide to acing the mobile-friendliness of your website:
Step 1 – How are you faring right now?
Before you begin renovating your website for mobile-friendliness, run it through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. To get a more comprehensive analysis on the mobile dimensions of your website, you can use the Mobile Usability tool to understand how well your website syncs with mobile devices. When you use this tool, keep an eye on the site variants that you pitch in: the presence of www, subdomain or the HTTPS protocol.
Step 2 – Responsiveness of the Site
To get quick results, making a responsive design is fundamental. You can apply responsiveness to the website easily in case you are logged in with content management systems like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. You will just have to discover and install a responsive site template.
With a responsive design, your website will automatically sync to the viewing needs of different devices like notebooks, mobile phones, tablets, desktop and others. These templates will apply the same HTML to all devices but add varying style rules to the CSS files which would determine the correct layout according to features of the device being used.
Step 3 – Secondary Mobile Theme
In cases where you cannot plan out a new site design from the scratch, you can go for secondary mobile designs. Thus, your website will be available in two versions: one for mobile devices and another for desktop. This would mean that there would be separate URLs for each of them: www.abcompany.com and m.abcompany.com.
Step 4 – Indexing the Android App
If your customer has the company android app installed on her phone, then when she enters a search query into the Google Search bar, the results would include content of your app as well. To make sure your app is available and ready for such situations, index your app by introducing App Indexing support. This would also positively impact your mobile search engine ranking.
Step 5- Acing the Mobile Tricks
People perceive content differently through a mobile screen. Since there is lesser time and a smaller screen, it becomes difficult to read through the content comfortably. For this reason, it is of utmost importance that you get the typography and spacing right.
Make sure there are short headlines and shorter paragraphs. You can also use sub-headlines to make the content more approachable. Leave space between links for easy tapping. Most importantly, make sure the font is mobile-friendly. While the choice of typefaces have to be simple, about 30-40 characters should fit per line for the mobile.