First, a definition: Search Engine Optimization (SEO, for short) is the process of increasing the traffic to one’s website by understanding the ways that people search (in what specific terms), how engines organize their data, and what people search. While SEO can be difficult to navigate, there are experts that have made it their living to track and predict trends in website ranking algorithms. However, the upcoming Google deadline has some SEO experts concerned. While the majority of programming updates are unannounced, Google decided to release the news and date (April 21st, to be exact) of their newest change.
Essentially, Google has a history of making game-changing modifications to their super-secret algorithm, and this most recent announcement is no exception. On April 21st, as a move to become more “mobile friendly” they will use ease of use on mobile devices as part of their ranking. While urging webmasters to make their sites mobile friendly is not new for Google, the fact that this will now impact the ranking, and therefore traffic flow, is the necessary push for webmasters to finally invest time in the endeavor.
Google has not released extensive details, which has caused more than slight panic, causing the term “Mobilegeddon” to enter popular SEO vernacular. However, they are not leaving webmasters without direction: there is a website that allows webpages to be tested. It only takes a few minutes and it will very clearly state “yes” or “no” in terms of mobile friendliness. Regardless of the results, it would be detrimental not to work with an SEO expert or designer to make sure you are getting the most out of your mobile platform.
Every update by Google has some impact on rankings, but the algorithm changes are always made with the best interest of the searcher in mind. Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird ensured that websites were of a high quality, they were not cheating the system via backlinks, and that the search engine understood exactly what the searcher was looking for. This “mobile friendly” update is likely to ruffle a few feathers (hello, Hummingbird pseudo-pun), but it may not quite be the “mobilegeddon” that everyone is making it out to be. The best bet is to stay ahead of the game, check your site for mobile friendliness, and perhaps consult an SEO expert to see how you can make the most out of the April 21st rollout.