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Factoring in the Google Announcement

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Your company may have recently received a message from Google or another organization, warning you that your website is not mobile-friendly. Although these emails can easily be overlooked as spam, in this case, pay attention and do some research to educate yourself on what this means. Your website viewing figures may drop substantially if you choose to ignore it.

When a user performs a search on Google.com, Google uses an algorithm to determine the order in which relevant websites are shown in the results. Google changes their search algorithm around 500–600 times yearly. While most of these changes are minor, they occasionally roll out "major" algorithmic updates (such as Google Panda, Penguin and Pigeon) that affect search results in significant ways. 

With the latest algorithm, Google systems are now testing pages of your site for critical mobile-usability errors. These pages will no longer be seen as mobile-friendly by Google’s search engine, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users. This means that having a mobile-friendly website is now critical to your business.

Some important facts:
In the USA, 80% of Internet users own a smartphone (http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/). 94% of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones (http://services.google.com/fh/files/misc/omp-2013-us-en.pdf). Interestingly, 77% of mobile searches occur at home or at work--places where desktop computers are likely to be present. 

While Google’s choice to push out this update may seem unfair to some, responsive web design and mobile site technology has been around for years, meaning that there has been plenty of time to make the switch. Their aim is to advance technology for the better, therefore it should be seen as a positive move.

Visit your website on your smart phone or use Google’s Tool: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.  Is your site compatible, or do you have to scroll, zoom or minimize to view your site easily?

The team at Factor 360 is passionate about claiming your place in the online space and a great deal of daily research goes into being a reliable resource in all things web related. If you have received a recent notification from Google about mobile website issues, we encourage you to contact us today. If you ignore this, you can expect your current rankings in search engines to begin to drop.



Categories: Responsive, SEO/SEM, Web Development

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