So last week we talked about the current and upcoming changes in Facebook’s algorithm and how this can affect you as a business. This week I want to talk to you about Google’s big algorithm change – Mobile First.
Google started playing with rolling this out in December in test mode and if you haven’t seen any changes yet you will soon.
You may be sitting there and thinking – well my website is mobile friendly so I am OK. But maybe not. You see it is not just about having a responsive design (though that is clearly important). Google recognised last year that the balance had swung from desktop to mobile. What I mean by that is – more google searches, hell – more EVERYTHING – is now done on mobile. 50% of the under 25’s admit the first thing they do before they get out of bed in the mornings is check Facebook (and quite a lot of the over 25’s do that to. Yes I mean me. And a lot of other people. How dare you imply I am over 25!! )
Here is what you need to know.
What it sounds like is what it is. Google will index your site based on your mobile site FIRST. Therefore – if your site is not optimised for mobile you will suffer. If you have content on your ‘main website’ which is not on your mobile site – you will suffer. If your site has wording which is too small, buttons or tabs which are too small and can’t easily be clicked, if the user has to zoom in or out to see things properly or your wording goes off the left or right-hand side of the page – you will suffer.
Any content that is not mobile friendly like Flash videos – should be replaced with something else.
Site speed – always important is now doubly so. People expect stuff on their phone to load quickly and if it doesn’t – not only will they not bother, but Google ill penalise you.
User engagement – ever more important on Mobile-First. If people bounce from your site within seconds then you will suffer – so consider what people are seeing straight away when they land on your mobile site and how engaging it is. (Hint – have a video).
There is a lot of technical back end stuff which your web developer should know about too – around how the Googlebot-mobile searches your site.
If you need any help and advice with this drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For interest – I ran a test on all our client’s websites this week and 5% had mobile UNFRIENDLY websites (oh dear). Clearly these were not sites we had designed. And 10% had problems on the sites with blocked resources. Technical term – it means Google is having trouble indexing part of your site in very simple terms. And 10% of our client’s sites could not be read at all because the Googlebot had been blocked by the site – which means they will not be indexed and therefore will NOT show up.
If you are an affected client you will be getting an email this evening – so, don’t worry, we have it in hand. But for everyone else – if you need us to run a 2 minute test on your site to check its ok for the new algorithm – just email me on email@example.com and I would be happy to do that for you as you are one of my Magnetic Business Readers.