It’s mobilegeddon out there!

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Businesses only had two months to prepare after the announcement back in February, and now it’s finally begun… Google has commenced ‘mobilegeddon’, by rolling out one of the biggest changes to its search algorithm in the last two years. The latest change sees the search giant take a more mobile-focused approach to its internet search algorithm, so why did they do it?

I guess the answer is simple. More and more people are using mobile devices to visit websites. Research from Google estimates that roughly 50{20156fe61baea400d2663eb990f17abdabeb6ef183a2129287a793abd8ac1d8a} of its local searches come from mobile devices using both its own search apps and mobile browsers. Based on this stat alone, it makes sense for Google to start recognising the impact of mobile search and to meet the needs of its users by bumping up those websites that accommodate for the smaller screens. Let’s be honest here, how many times have you been browsing the web on your phone, only to give up on a site that hasn’t been optimised properly? I know I have…

It might sound a tad doom and gloom, but all is not lost, Google does offer a helpful online tool that will tell you how unfriendly your website is for any mobile visitors. Give it a go, you might be surprised to find that your website is more optimised for mobiles than you expected (don’t get your hopes up though). If you’re one of the many businesses that doesn’t have a mobile website, then you should expect a drop in search visibility on smartphones, but don’t panic, as this change won’t affect how your website appears in Google’s search on tablets or desktops.

The importance of a mobile-ready website will differ depending on the industry that you’re in of course. The retail and ecommerce firms will feel a big impact if their websites are pushed down the search rankings as they’re very reliant on the business that local search traffic brings in. But just because you’re not in these sectors, and don’t see much value behind the power of mobile optimisation, it won’t hurt to look into ways you can optimise the performance of your site to accommodate for different sized screens.

With a brief glance around the vicinity of my desk in Whiteoaks’ office right now, I can see at least five mobile devices, so I’m more than willing to put a fiver on the fact that you’ve got at least one device close to you right now. Hence why this update is important for your business, despite being bit of a nuisance. It’s something that was going to happen sooner or later, as mobile search continues to grow. Which is why it’s about time for businesses to start getting with the programme and making their websites more accessible to mobile users. We’re on the case…