It is estimated that 60% of online traffic is mobile based and Google’s new initiative makes the estimates all the more credible. Google wants to ensure that people have a mobile friendly experience when they use it for queries and for that purpose, it has updated its mobile search algorithm to highlight mobile optimized results.
This won’t change much visibly but the algorithm will change search results so that non-mobile friendly websites are demoted while mobile-optimized sites are promoted in results. Keep in mind that Google had already announced the changes a couple of months ago. Furthermore, desktop rankings remain unaffected.
According to Itai Sadan, CEO of a website building company Duda, who spoke to Business Insider:
I think the people who are at risk are those who don’t know about it. Come April 21, a lot of small businesses are going to be really surprised that the number of visitors to their websites has dropped significantly. This is going to affect millions of sites on the web.
Sadan thinks that this will also affect websites that rely mostly on localized search which could results being pushed back because they lack the “mobile friendly” stamp. Several European Union websites, Microsoft and even BBC fail Google Mobile Friendly Test developer tool. Webmasters can search for the tool and check to see if their websites are classed as mobile friendly.
Some search engine experts have termed the new ranking method as “Mobilegeddon”
Webmasters need to optimize their websites for mobile screens as pages with small text, links that are difficult for touch screen inputs and similar basic non-touch friendly problems will be demoted in rankings. This includes long page load times as well as graphic intensive websites.
The company stated that:
This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact on our search results.
So webmasters are advised to optimize their websites if they have not done so in the past or they can expect huge drop in visitors reaching their sites. Head over to Google’s Mobile Friendly test to see if your site makes the mark or not. If not, better make some changes quickly because the results will start to appear within a week.