Mo’ mobile, mo’ problems

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Google’s algorithm change affects mobile search in a big way

 

Consider the last time you were in a town you’d never been to before — did you drive around trying to look at both sides of the street for somewhere to eat, where to get gas, or find a hotel? Or did you pull out your smartphone and ask a search engine where to find what you needed?

The smartphone in your pocket has been quietly assuming control of the digital landscape over the last few years, with mobile usage representing 60 percent of all digital media consumption in the U.S., according to a 2014 comScore report. More people are picking up the phone to get answers as soon as they think of their questions, and finding what they need while away from home and their desktop computers.

In response, Google announced in late February that it is adjusting the way its search algorithms work, this time focusing results for searches made with mobile devices toward sites that have mobile-friendly interfaces. The change will leave desktop-only sites ranking lower in search engines for mobile users, which as the aforementioned statistic indicates, will mean showing up farther down in search results lists for more than half the entire nation’s Internet users.

The change doesn’t take effect until April 21, which leaves business owners a few weeks to make mobile adjustments to their websites. Many website designers offer mobile creation options, including us — all sites built by BizBuzz are web-responsive, which means the site automatically adjusts to the best format for the device it’s viewed on, whether it’s a phone, a tablet or a desktop computer.  Just check outmillersand.com or smithfarmsalabama.com from your smartphone to see a mobile-friendly site in action.

You can see if your site is mobile-friendly by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool by entering your domain name, or you can do a Google search for your website on your smartphone and see if there’s a “Mobile-Friendly” denotation next to the result.

And while this  algorithm change      only affects those     who use Google, the popular search engine commands an 87.1 percent share of mobile search, so if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, that’s a lot of potential customers missing out on learning about your business.

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