Big Changes to Google Search are Coming

Two years ago I was at an Internet marketing conference. At the time it was estimated by Google that almost a quarter of searches were from mobile devices – phones and tablets.

Fast forward a mere 18 months to another Internet marketing conference that I attended. Matt Cutts from Google said that mobile traffic was now almost half of all traffic. He stressed in his keynote address that website owners should make their websites mobile-friendly because the Google’s world was fast changing to mobile-first.

Here is a chart of mobile traffic rising over the last year.

Chart of the rise of mobile traffic

Fast forward to the present. Google recently posted on their Webmasters blog, “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.”

You may be asking, that does this mean for you, if you or your business has a website?

  • Any business that relies on customers finding its website on Google must understand the consequences of not updating to a mobile friendly website. If the competition is mobile and you are not, you will lose visibility in Google searches – and valuable traffic to your website.
  • Whether you should walk or run toward updating your site depends very much upon the specifics of your business, your customers, and your website. However, do not be confused that you can do nothing. This isn’t an “if” but rather a “when” you need to become compliant to current web standards.

Below is a chart done by Moz.com, estimating the lost of traffic by search results position. chart of traffic lost by keyword position

There is no one-fit answer regarding what the website owner should do and when. You need to analyze your data, understand your customer, and be clear about your business objectives in order to make cost effective decisions.

For those who are interested in more detail, here are a couple useful links:

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