Google's Change to Mobile Search, "Mobilegeddon," and How Local and Small Businesses Can Prepare

April 24, 2015 Eitan Katz

Mobile Search

Source: Fox Business/Cynthia 

Google made a change to mobile search on April 21st that directly affects the way small and local businesses should manage their websites. We've created a three-step guide to ensure you know exactly what this change, dubbed "Mobilegeddon," means for your business, and how you can prepare your website to avoid being buried in Google's mobile search rankings.

Step 1: What Google did to mobile search and why.

In simple terms, Google altered its algorithm for mobile searches to promote mobile-friendly websites and punish websites that are only optimized for PC.

Before you panic about all of the time and money you spent on SEO for nothing, let's clarify that this change is affecting mobile search only. That means if someone is using their laptop, desktop, or tablet, your Google results will not be affected. However, if your site isn't mobile-friendly, and a user is searching on mobile, your Google results will be affected.

This change makes sense — when someone uses Google to search on their mobile device, they should be directed to websites that can render and fit their screen, creating the seamless experience Google so covets.

This has also been a long time coming. According to comScore, for the first time ever, mobile Internet usage exceeded PC Internet usage. In fact, their 2014 report indicated that mobile platforms combined to account for 60 percent of total digital media time spent, up from 50 percent in 2013. They're expecting those numbers to continue rising.

Google, a company that practically runs the Internet (just look at this infographic), is aware of the trend and have now upgraded mobile search to make it easier for consumers to get "relevant, high-quality search results that are optimized for their devices."

Search Engine Land has a very comprehensive list of FAQs on what this upgrade entails.

Step 2: How to prepare your business for "Mobilegeddon."

The search change is great for Google users but is a potential disaster for unprepared small and local businesses. Roughly 80 percent of smaller employers don't have a mobile-friendly website or app, according to CNBC.

Use this Google tool, which measures how mobile-friendly a website is, to determine whether you're part of that 80 percent.

Keep in mind: it's possible that only certain parts of your site are mobile-ready.

Because Google's algorithm works on a page-to-page basis, you need to check each page associated with your site for mobile optimization — not just your homepage.

If your site isn't optimized for mobile, you should be moving forward to find mobile solutions as soon as possible. You can start with this Google Forum page, written by Google Developers to help "Make your site mobile-friendly."

Oftentimes, if your site is optimized for PC-only, it doesn't take a huge effort to go mobile. Track down whoever created your website and ask them how feasible it would be to optimize your website for mobile devices.

Step 3: Your website is mobile-friendly, now what?

Congratulations! Your website is safe from the Google mobile search monster, and your rankings should remain intact across all devices.

Before you celebrate, though, check out this list of seven common mistakes Google Developers see on mobile sites to ensure your new website is perfect.

Now you can finally reap the rewards of your investment into mobile-readiness. According to eReachConsulting, there are five major benefits to optimizing your website for mobile:

  1. An improved user experience.
  2. Increased average time on site.
  3. Faster website load speed.
  4. Improved mobile SEO (especially on Google!).
  5. Competitive advantages over your competition.

Well, what are you waiting for? Get started now and thank us later!

Learn more about how Booker's mobile-optimized booking software can help your business grow by taking a demo.

 

Sources: CNBC, Google, Google Developers, comScore

About the Author

Eitan Katz

Eitan Katz is a seasoned Social Media Marketer and Online Writer. He's managed the social accounts of EA Sports and the National Basketball Association, worked as a community manager at Uber, and was a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He currently works at Booker Software, where he runs Social Media, maintains the Booker Blog, and hosts a Booker-themed web video series called "On the Road with Eitan."

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