Just as many website owners are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel with regards to Penguin and Panda penalties, Google have announced a new algorithmic update! Their mobile algorithm will start to run on 21st April. Here's what you need to know...
What is it?
An algorithmic update intended to improve the search experience for users on mobile devices.
When a user performs a search on a mobile device, Google are looking for their listings to favour web pages that provide a good user experience on their device.
When the algorithm starts running, it's expected that non 'mobile friendly' web pages will start to lose ranking position in Google's listings on mobile devices.
Bear in mind that the update will start to run on April 21st but any impact on your site's pages could take days or even weeks to materialise.
Are my site's pages in the firing line?
A quick and dirty check is to Google some of your best performing keyword terms from a mobile device (not a tablet) and check whether your listings have the 'mobile friendly' label assigned to them.
In addition Google have been sending out warning messages to websites with pages that they consider non 'mobile friendly'. These messages appear in your Google Webmaster Tools dashboard and will also be emailed to the email account that is setup as your Webmaster Tools admin. It's safe to assume that if you've been sent a warning those pages that are non 'mobile friendly' will start to lose position on mobile devices sometime shortly after April 21st. >
If you want to know why your pages aren't 'mobile friendly' you can use this handy tool to check.
If pages aren't mobile friendly what will the impact be?
No one knows how aggressive the algorithm will be but in Google's own words the update will "have significant impact on our search results".
That word "significant" means that your first point of call is to try and understand the volume of your organic search traffic that is at risk. You can take a view on whether you can expose yourself to risking a loss of that traffic.
Unfortunately, because Google now hide keyword data in Google Analytics coming up with an estimate of your traffic that could be lost is more difficult that you might think. This post on Search Engine Land takes you through a method for calculating a ball park estimate.
If your pages are not 'mobile friendly' then any competitor pages that are stand to overtake you in the mobile search listings and steal your traffic share.
Don't hesitate to contact Quba if you would like assistance on understanding the risk to your business or need to move on implementing a mobile friendly website solution.