If you’ve not yet heard, Google is about to launch a new ranking factor that puts much emphasis on responsive design and/or mobile sites. Because consumers are searching on-the-go more often, the world’s largest search engine is responding with a big update, accompanied by a large announcement.
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices,” the Webmaster Team wrote on its official blog.
What is Mobilegeddon?
The truth is, Google has been pushing website owners (read small business owners), of all kinds, be they corner shops, medium sized companies, or large corporate entities, to use mobile friendly framework, apps, and the like. In early July of last year, mobile search outpaced desktop queries for the first time and that’s a trend that will only continue. What Mobilegeddon, as the new signal as been so dubbed, will do, is just officially extend that long-running trend and accommodating our mobile-dominated society.
When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns. In the past, we’ve made updates to ensure a site is configured properly and viewable on modern devices. We’ve made it easier for users to find mobile-friendly web pages and we’ve introduced App Indexing to surface useful content from apps. —Google Webmaster Central Blog
And, it is a mobile-centric world as 99.5 percent consumers use their smartphones and tablets to access content/information, while 63.1 access the internet. Tablets and smartphones are used by 62.1 percent of consumers to check email, 49.2 percent listen to music, 46 percent play games, 41.7 percent download and use apps, while 15 percent make purchases and another 15 percent read a book. All of this of course, means your website must be able to deliver its content on more than a desktop.
Preparing for the New Google Ranking Signal
If you don’t have a mobile or responsive design website, it’s now a requirement for organic rank. WordPress is definitely a favorite because it can be managed from any internet or network connected devise, can have multiple users, is very SEO friendly, and can be changed with thousands of themes.
Of course, WordPress also provides a built-in blog, which is ideal since both Google and Bing only revisit sites when their content is updated. Another great feature is the many thousands of plugins which are specifically built for the content management system and do everything, from helping with search engine optimization, to locking down content against plagiarism, to providing customizable contact and order forms.