Well they’ve gone and done it! Google have changed their algorithm measure with another update. And don’t be blasé about it, this one could very easily effect you, your business and your web presence adversely if you do not or have not taken the measures required. Your website must now be ‘responsive’.
As I’ve described in previous articles, this means that your website isn’t just PC optimised via a desktop website or alternately mobile optimised for mobile devices alone.
Many businesses over the last four years have been convinced to build ‘mobile friendly websites’ or ‘mobile apps’. These were built additionally to existing websites. In many cases tablet versions were also built.
This is no longer appropriate. All websites must now become ‘responsive’. This means responsive to the device the searcher is using, whether it be a mobile phone, an iPad, Samsung Galaxy or Microsoft Tablet, or a traditional desktop PC. What is required is a single multi-device website, a single platform. In plain English those sites that are ‘mobile friendly’ will rise to the top of the Google rankings and those that do not offer a mobile friendly response will drop in ranking by up to 40%.This will put you back to page 3 or 4 in goole searches within a month.
Currently mobile searches (ie people searching using their mobile phone) account for at least 30% of all searches, with that number increasing steadily.
Google state that “as of April 21st we will be expanding our use of mobile friendliness as a ranking signal”.
In a nutshell you now need to ensure that you operate your website from a single platform; a single website that can respond to an enquiry from PC, tablet or mobile.
For many who have a PC desktop website and mobile versions separate, there is the risk of being penalised by Google for presenting ‘duplicate’ copy. It is now time to either modify your current website by including a mobile version that responds to an enquiry from a mobile device or tablet or just build a new website that actually is responsive from the get-go when it is launched.
Are you concerned regarding your website? There is a simple easy way to find out where you stand. Enter the following Google link on your browser and find out whether your website has a mobile friendly design…
Use your Google account (if you have a Gmail account, a YouTube account or a Google+ account you can log in using your username and password. If you don’t, take your pick of these and register) Google in a matter of seconds will rate your site’s ‘mobile friendliness’.
Given the previous Google updates on Panda, Penguin and the introduction of Hummingbird Algorithm, this change will have a dramatic effect on commercial sites.
There is time to adjust your on-line presence to meet these Google requirements but it is strongly advised to use professional web developers and ensure your site is responsive and rating well.
For many of you with sites that date back more than two years, it is time to update. But remember, you need to provide a site ‘responsive’ to desktop, tablet and mobiles to rate well. Probably this is an indication that it is now prudent to ‘depreciate’ your website in the same way you do so with other business assets and plan for regular updates.
The most pertinent piece of advice I can give is for business owners to ensure the initial build of their website is to Google standards and to make sure your on-line suppliers and consultants keep you updated as per Google requirements – practically, on your Responsive website.
To be seen you need to ensure that you follow the Google prescriptions. With over 97% of all searches in Australia currently done via Google it pays to heed their instructions.
For anyone requiring advice or with further questions you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If I’m slow getting back to you don’t worry – we’re updating our site! Happy Googling!