There’s been a huge increase in the number of internet users who use their phones to surf the web. In some countries like India, Saudi Arabia or DR Congo mobile usage has taken over the lead, while on a global scale it raised from 17% in September 2013 to 28% in just one year period. Of course big companies like Google closely follow these online trends and from April 2015, they decided to adapt their algorithms for mobile searches.

Google went a long way from Boston, Cassandra and Dominic to Hummingbird, Panda and Penguin. Before each one of these updates, webmasters were scared and confused, while SEO people were quickly trying to adapt to the new rules of the game. In the spirit of the hype that usually follows Google updates, the new one that was sparked by increased mobile usability is unofficially named “Mobilegeddon”.

Wasn’t Mobile Usability Already Taken Into Consideration by Google Algorithm?

This is true, Google algorithms already used mobile usability as a relevant parameter in their search rankings, but the new system will introduce even bigger diversity in in ranking between responsive and non-responsive websites on mobile searches. In addition to that, 21st April update is not going to be another data refresh, and it will impact the big number of websites around the globe. Zinet Ajib Bahaji, one of the members of Google Developers Team stated on The Search Marketing Expo Conference in Munich that the new update will be bigger and more crucial than Penguin and Panda, last two SEO catastrophes with cute and cuddly names.

So What will Mobbilegeddon Bring?

A new update will change mobile searches in the way that mobile friendly web pages would have better rankings. Same goes for the content from indexing apps that users have already installed on their phones.

Image courtesy of: Unsplash

How Is This Going to Impact My Website?

If you have a website with responsive theme or even better a mobile version of it, you will definitely going to enjoy the new update. Since mobile searches on Google are almost around 50% of all searches, your website will receive larger traffic after some other pages with less responsive themes receive a lower ranking. On the other hand, if you own a non-responsive web page your number of visitors is going to fall drastically after 21st April.

The above mentioned percentage tells you how important this new update is going to be and if you haven’t done anything yet, to prevent your website from low rankings in Google search results it is about time to start resolving this issue.

How Should I Adapt?

The first thing you need to do is to check is your website mobile friendly. This is easy with free Mobile-Friendly Test provided by Google Developers. Also in Google Webmaster Tools you need to find Mobile Usability Report and solve all issues that may damage the responsiveness of your website.

If you found out that your website is not mobile friendly, you can approach this problem in two separate ways. Some people decide to build a whole new mobile version of their website which displays the same content, but it represents a separate website and it is good because you will be able to create content for this page in according to all mobile user parameters, and to get mobile user statistics only. Others just pick a mobile responsive theme.

This option requires much less maintenance, but shifting the whole website from one theme to another can be a little bit tricky and time consuming, especially when you take into consideration that you’ll need to finish it before 21st April.

When it comes to mobile apps, the new update will place data from installed and indexed apps directly into the search results. So if you are an app developer and you didn’t index your app on Google already, do it before 21st April, or suffer the consequences of “Mobbilegeddon“.

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Posted by Emma Miller