06 October 2015
Traditionally, when Google reforms its algorithms (such as with its Panda and Penguin updates), this radically affects the amount of traffic directed to certain websites. The latest update to Google’s search rankings specifically targets mobile websites and was dubbed “Mobilegeddon” by onlookers.
As we wrote about in a previous series of blog posts, Google recently updated their search algorithms. Traditionally, when Google reforms its algorithms (such as with its Panda and Penguin updates), this radically affects the amount of traffic directed to certain websites. The latest update to Google’s search rankings specifically targets mobile websites and was dubbed “Mobilegeddon” by onlookers.
To be more accurate, we should say that the update targets both mobile websites and non-mobile websites. Google’s search engine now ranks whether or not your website is “mobile friendly,” and if it is not, your website does not show up immediately in searches done on mobile devices. Mobile websites, those that display properly on mobile devices for an improved customer experience, rank higher.
Mobile websites are very important to Google because more online searches actually take place on mobile devices compared to desktop. This means that if your website isn’t mobile friendly, you’re losing potential customers by the search term. But on the whole, was “Mobilegeddon” the catastrophic event its name implies?
The apocalyptic term looks to be a mixed result. Research from seoClarity shows that some major sites such as OfficeDepot.com and RottenTomatoes.com lost traffic, but many other sites were unaffected. Google reports that 4.7% more websites changed to become more mobile-friendly as a result of the update. Given the amount of total websites in the world, that’s a decent amount. Overall, many pundits claim, however, that Mobilegeddon wasn’t as significant as its moniker.
Pundits and bloggers claiming Mobilegeddon to be a minor blip aren’t seeing the forest for the trees. As with Panda and Penguin before it, Google continuously finds new ways and creates new algorithms to improve its search engine. And the recent Mobilegeddon update firmly establishes Google’s commitment to mobile websites.
The Mobilegeddon update punishes sites that aren’t “mobile-friendly,” but we at Dynamicweb expect Google to further refine their search algorithms in the future. Soon it will no longer be enough to be “mobile-friendly.” Your mobile website will have to be “mobile great” and deliver top-of-the-line user experience.
It’s logical to predict that Google’s future updates will choose the best mobile experiences to deliver to Google’s mobile users. Google has no interest in delivering poor experiences to its searchers.
Today, the Future
If you have an ecommerce site already, the future is now. While your search rankings may or may not be affected by Google’s latest update, your prospects still want the best customer experience on mobile devices. And if they don’t get a great experience, Google is happy to show them many, many other mobile websites.
Beyond your search ranking, mobile optimization results in increased customer loyalty, lower bounce rates, greater engagement, and other benefits associated with improved customer experience. You want to offer your complete brand experience to all customers, regardless of device.
In addition to responsive design that ensures your site is “mobile-friendly,” ensure your webshop loads quickly with coherent navigation and has important ecommerce features such as personalization. Many vendors neglect to offer features such as personalization on mobile, which results in lower conversion rates. Depending on the specifics of your site, mobile-specific features such as touchscreen interaction, location tracking, one click calling/ordering, and more also enhance the customer experience.
There’s no exact prediction when the next Google algorithm update comes nor what it entails. But one thing is certain: Google cares about mobile. And so do your customers. As the search engine continues to refine its algorithms, the importance of having a great mobile experience grows even larger and increasingly becomes the difference between a customer finding your website or the site of your competitors.