April 21, 2015 is doomsday. Not really. It is the date that Google will release their mobile algorithm update. Despite knee-jerk reaction, the sky really isn’t falling. That being said, in order to successfully navigate the pending changes there are a few things to keep in mind.
How Is This Update Different From Previous Ones?
One of the first differences to the pending update is that it was announced in advance. How should this advance warning be viewed? There has been much panic due to a comment made by Google’s Zineb Ait Bahajji at SMX in Munich earlier in the year. He stated that the update will have a much greater impact than Panda or Penguin ever did. Should that statement be construed as a cause for panic?
Part of the reason why this new update will have a greater impact is because we are living in a time where mobile impacts everyone. The Panda and Penguin updates focused on sites with thin content and spammy elements. These were being used by a relatively small percentage of websites. Google’s mobile update is a totally different animal (sorry I couldn’t resist). The update will actually help and reward websites that are focused on becoming more mobile friendly.
Details of the Update
The best way to summarize the details is to share this statement taken directly from Google’s announcement post:
"Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices."
What Can You Do?
Google has released well detailed resources to aid in the process. You will notice from the following resource that Google provides the means to test your website to determine if it is designed responsive / mobile friendly .
If your site is not mobile friendly, you are probably already receiving minimal traffic from mobile searches. This does not mean you don’t need to adapt your website. This simply means that you are already losing out on traffic from mobile users. Don’t panic, instead use this information as an opportunity to produce a more mobile friendly site to enhance your user experience and increase your web traffic.
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