A revision in Google’s search engine algorithm will likely catch some web developers by surprise. On April 21st, Google mentions that a search engine update will be released that focuses on the availability of a mobile version of a website. Websites without a mobile version could possibly be left out of search engine result pages altogether.
Circle April 21st on your Calendar
Google’s official blog says, “As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns.”
There’s no doubt that the internet is becoming more mobile centric. When you are building a website, Google’s latest update makes it imperative that you use a content management system that allows your websites to have a mobile version. If you neglect to do this, your website could become penalized in Google’s upcoming search engine algorithm update.
Desktop Search vs. Mobile Search
Google mentions that they will be providing different search results for mobile devices. In the past, search engine results for mobile devices and desktop PCs have been similar, if not the exact same.
Research shows that for the first time ever, internet users are using mobile devices to view websites more often than they use traditional desktop computing hardware. Google’s update provides entrepreneurs with an opportunity; while small businesses who are unaware of the update could be left wondering what happened to their organic search engine traffic.
Google’s Mobile Update: An Opportunity for Entrepreneurs?
Reports suggest that unknowing small businesses could risk falling out of search engine results. If SMBs neglect to build a mobile version of their website, the desktop version of their website may not be listed in the search engine’s listings when a potential customer tries to Google the business name using their smartphone.
Many small businesses struggle to put together a traditional website, therefore many haven’t thought about creating a mobile website. By building or “mobilizing” websites for small businesses, you can use your search engine optimization skills to discover a new sales vertical that will likely stay hot for the next few months.
Not Just Mobile Websites; Mobile Apps Matter Too!
Does your website have its own app? If not, you may want to consider building one. You can always hire a freelancer to build one for your business or you can learn about software developer kits such as CoronaSDK.
Mobile websites seem to be an undeserved portion of the web. For years, small businesses have been able to get away non-mobile optimized designs that cause users to pinch and squeeze their phones in order to read the text.
Google says that mobile apps that accompany mobile websites may get some sort of advantage in terms of ranking signals. Google says, “Starting today, we will begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, we may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search.”
Fact: 200M Use Mobile Devices to Access Websites
Anyway you slice it, 200M is a large number segment of the population. Google’s search engine update will ensure that search queries originating from mobile devices will fetch results intended to be viewed through a mobile device.
If your website does not contain a mobile version, you will need to find a solution for your content management system before the April 21st deadline. Failure to do so could hurt the chances of customers finding your website when searching for it using their smartphone or tablet.