13 April 2015
With the prevalence of mobile search, mobile research, and mobile commerce, Google’s new algorithm update is designed to ensure that its users receive a return of high-quality mobile experiences when using the search engine.
In our previous blog, New Google algorithm, part 1: Moving to Mobile, we detail Google’s plans and incentives for their new search algorithm update, scheduled for April 21st. The update punishes sites that are not considered “mobile-friendly” by hitting them where it hurts, right in the search rankings. So what should you do to prepare your website, not just for the Google algorithm update, but for the brave mobile world at large?
Optimize your site for tablets and smartphones with a Content Management System that offers full support for responsive design. Responsive design means that your content, both images and text, scale to fit the screen size and device of your website visitor. Your visitors get the same great web experience across multiple devices.
Google’s ranking algorithms favor responsive design to boost your search ranking as well as your website’s overall user experience. Test all your pages to make sure that they are mobile-friendly, so you outrank your competitors when the update hits. Use the Google online test to see if your website is a friend or foe of mobile devices.
Website vs Apps?
While some businesses benefit from having their own dedicated application, a mobile app is no replacement for a responsive website. Your website, not your app, is still the easiest way for a potential visitor or customer to find you through organic search. And when that person arrives, you want them to have a high-quality user experience. For your sake, for their sake, and for Google’s sake.
Whether or not you have an app, Google does punish the overall search ranking of your website if it performs poorly on mobile. Relying solely on having an app is a mistake. Apps have certain barriers that prevent downloads, such as the limited storage capacity on tablets and smartphones. Downloading an app also requires the user to have knowledge of the brand in the first place in addition to a commitment to actually installing the application.
In addition to optimizing your site for mobile, there are other ways to gain an SEO advantage as Google gears up for a new search algorithm update. For example, Google’s new update also punishes sites for doorway pages, so it’s best to get rid of these from your website to preserve a good search ranking.
Doorway pages are pages that all lead to the same destination and feature redundant information. The primary purpose of doorway pages is to trick search engines, and that doesn’t make Google very happy. If you have doorway pages, we recommend taking them down before April 21st before Google comes knocking.
A Little Help From My Mobile Friends
“Mobile friendly” is the key takeaway from the impending algorithm update. A responsive website helps Google help you. Of course, Dynamicweb’s own solution offers fully responsive design. By delivering a great mobile experience, your site ranks higher, gets found easier, and boosts your traffic.
But before we end this blog series… we would be remiss if we didn’t bring up one more factor that Google takes into account when ranking your website for searches – and it’s something you could start working on right now to improve your SEO. Stay tuned for Part III of The New Google Algorithm Update.
New Google algorithm, part 3: The Fast & Friendliest