You may have heard the term ‘Mobilegeddon’ over the last week or so, but in case you were wondering, it’s not last generation’s handsets rising up to exact retribution on humanity for stowing them in the ‘random old electronics drawer’.
No, the real Mobilegeddon is far more terrifying and deadly than that terrible plot for a typical, low-budget 21st Century horror flick.
So what exactly is it?
Mobilegeddon was a name coined by the online digital marketing & web designer community, as a way to raise awareness of an impending update to the elusive Google Ranking Algorithm.
It infers to arguably the most game-changing update to the search algorithm, since the Panda, Penguin & Hummingbird updates respectively.
Google staff member, Zineb Ait Bahajji, belonging to the Webmaster Trends team, was reportedly quoted at SMX Munich last week saying that the upcoming mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that will launch on April 21st 2015 will have more of an impact on Google’s search results than the Panda Search update and the Penguin search update.
Roughly translated – this will be extremely detrimental to businesses with websites that were either recently designed in a non mobile friendly format, or are generally speaking more than 3-5 years old.
I would imagine that there are very few people out there that would contest the importance of mobile optimised websites, apart from maybe those old-school business owners in a state of denial, reluctant to look to the future, and ordering their staff to pound-the-pavements and cold-call all day (I’ve had the pleasure of encountering a few of these in my time!) If you’re one of those guys, you can ignore this article, as my guess would be that a responsive website is the least of your worries!
So, we all know and appreciate the importance of mobile optimised and responsive websites. If you don’t, then you’ve been lucky enough never to navigate one on your mobile phone!
Google have given preferential treatment to mobile-friendly sites for a few years now, however it’s not widely known as to what bearing this has on the overall ranking of a site. My guess is it’s a fairly negligible factor in the current overall algorithm. Whilst it will definitely drive visitors away from the website, you’re not subjected to any harsh punishments from the search engines.
However, like I said, this is all set to change starting from April 21st 2015.
If you’re interested in why they’re suddenly making a big deal out of mobile-friendly websites, you need only look at 2014’s search statistics –
The numbers reveal that an estimated 60% of all search queries last year were made from a mobile device. Google themselves would be doing their loyal users a disservice if the user couldn’t actually access and navigate the results that they were providing.
There is some good news for everybody though!
For those with smart, user-friendly & mobile-optimised websites, you can expect to see your website climb the results pages in a fairly dramatic way. Most likely, your website will very soon outrank all of your competitors who have not put aside the time and the budget to redesign their websites. So, there’s that to look forward to!
On the flip side, we have the guys who don’t have a website utilising the latest web-technologies.
Whilst I’ll admit, right now the outlook is pretty bleak, especially if you’ve spent thousands over the last few years on SEO consultants. Google have done something very out-of-character by actually giving us notice of their intended big update! If you move quickly, and explain the time-sensitive situation to your web designer, then it’s not too late to plug the holes before the points are deducted.
The last thing I intend to do by releasing this article is to scaremonger businesses into redeveloping their websites. The sad truth is that some simply won’t have the budget, or will bury their heads in the sand and hope for the best.
Far from wanting to worry people, I decided to write this article to raise awareness and to reinforce the importance of following such news of improvements and updates as they unfold.
I fully expect that this article will fall on deaf ears to some, but I’ll sleep easy knowing that I carried out my duty as a web professional, by at least giving people the opportunity to learn about this important change to 2015 web-marketing practices. After all – you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink!
Frost Digital Web Design are happy to provide free advice regarding this matter, and have limited development time reserved in April for the purpose of helping businesses redevelop their existing websites to become mobile-friendly.
Call us on 01223 440389, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org