If you pay any attention to the search engine and online marketing news, you may have noticed over the last few months whispers and then full-blown scare tactics of businesses talking about April 21 and the new Google algorithm coming out. First before we explain and educate (not scare) you about it, let's first get down to basics.
What is a Google Algorithm & Why You Should Care About Them?
For small business owners these fancy phrases and news about online marketing could be the least you care about when it comes to your business, so that's why Built To Optimize is here to care for you and keep you in the loop. A Google algorithm change is best explained like a car engine.
When you have a car you have to upkeep it's health and engine to make sure that it is running correctly and get's you from Point A to Point B without any problems. Similar to a search engine like Google, you want to be able to search for information online and get your answer without problems.
Owning a car means that you regularly have to tune the engine with new oil and a new filter. This is something that is understood when purchasing a car and keeps the engine in good health. Just like an engine, a search engine, like Google, has to tweak things occasionally to make sure the searches you are performing online yield the best results you are looking for.
Once a while during the lifetime of a car you may need to have major maintenance done to your engine, maybe a new belt or transmission. While these costly maintenance jobs are a pain in the butt, overall you know it is for the benefit of your car and ultimately your safety while driving it. Same goes for search engines, companies like Google perform major updates to the way their site works so that the users can experience the best solutions to their online queries.
So while Google may be constantly making updates to their system and how it works, there are occasional major updates that are made to ensure the users are getting the best experience while searching for things online. That is where April 21 comes into play.
First in Google's History
Google announced in late 2014 that on April 21 their search engine system was going to be changing significantly for mobile users. This is a first in Google's history because they have never announced an algorithm change like this for online marketers and businesses to be ahead of the change and make the necessary changes to their websites.
Usually when Google makes major updates to their system, businesses are made aware of them after the fact, which usually results in businesses scrambling to make the necessary changes so that their website is up to date with the latest changes. But this change on April 21, 2015 was a first and was welcomed by many businesses online.
So What's The Mobilegeddon Change?
So starting on April 21, 2015 Google will be browsing through websites online and seeing if the sites are mobile-friendly. Mobile-friendly websites mean that the website is easily navigable on mobile devices like an iPhone or Android smartphone. It does not include tablet devices. When a website is mobile-friendly it means that the site can be easily read and used on a small screen device.
Once Google's system "crawls" a business' site and recognizes if it is mobile friendly or not, it begins to rank it differently in it's search results. So for example if you have two local New Jersey Business both in the restaurant business, one website is mobile-friendly and the other one is not that is a big advantage for the site that is mobile-friendly.
The restaurant that has a mobile-friendly website will now show up higher in search results in the New Jersey area for users searching for local restaurants. The other business that does not have a mobile-friendly website may not show up on the search results until the second or third page.
Almost 90% of users choose a website on the first page of Google.
This means because the other restaurant didn't have a mobile website, they are now suffering because their potential mobile customers are not seeing their website on their phones. This could result in a large drop in customers because about 95% of mobile searches are done for local businesses.
It's Already Past April 21st, What Do I Do?
While it's unfortunate you weren't able to get your website changed to a mobile-friendly version before April 21, it's not too late to make the change and play catch up. Initially your business' website may suffer, but once you have successfully changed your site over to a mobile friendly version, you will begin to get back on the good side of the Google system.
Built To Optimize is able to assist you in creating and editing your website to fit into the new Google algorithm changes. Contact us below with your information and we will be happy to perform a FREE mobile-friendly check.