It isn’t the best of names or the most frightening, but for a few weeks the term “mobilegeddon” struck fear into the hearts of website designers and tech-savvy business owners across the internet. With the name “mobilegeddon” created by Danny Sullivan of SearchEngineLand, it should sound like something funny but there’s a serious change in store for website creators and business owners.
Google’s recent algorithm update is set to change the way that users get content. With this new algorithm – rolled out on the 21st of April – users on smartphones are now more likely to receive top search results that are optimized for their phones. Now, optimized websites have to meet Google’s mobile standards in order to stay at their rankings. These requirements include text formatted in a way that users won’t have to zoom in or scroll sideways, easily clicked links, and a layout that also doesn’t require zooming in or horizontal scrolling to interact with.
While that sounds like a good thing for consumers, many website creators and business owners are concerned with what that means for their search results.
The algorithm change works to give users results that were made for their phones. This change favors “mobile friendly” websites over non-optimized ones with an implication that desktop sites without optimization could very well drop in the rankings on smartphones. Now since tablet and desktop rankings aren’t affected by this shift in search algorithms, that should be the end of it right?
Why are some people running around and panicking about the optimization of their websites?
Well, because right now almost sixty percent of internet access comes from mobile devices. On top of that, about half of total Google search engine usage comes from cell phones and smart phones. That is an incredibly large percentage of people whose use of phones to engage with the internet will be affected by the algorithm change Google has rolled out.
And companies are a little behind the times.
As recent as mid-April, 46% of Fortune 500 companies and 29% of the top 500 retail sites had yet to receive Google’s “mobile friendly” designation according to marketing firm Merkle/RKG. This slow push to mobile optimization could cause a huge dustup with mobile search results which industry watchers like Sullivan have deemed “mobilegeddon” due to how it could possibly change internet search results as they know it.
But there’s good news:
We’re a week into the algorithmic change and results are slow going. What industry watchers were worried about might not occur at all. Over on SearchEngineLand, there’s even an article that talks about how so far there’s only a slight change in the amount of traffic due to the new algorithm. So while all websites should strive towards optimization, they have the time to redo their websites.
They can get an app!