Massive Changes to Google’s Mobile Search Algorithm Poses Threat to Small Businesses

Last February, Google made the announcement that major changes will be made to its mobile search algorithm which will take effect April 21st, 2015.  This early announcement gave webmasters and IT support companies the chance to make the necessary changes and enough information to accomplish it.

Google announced, “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.”

IT support experts say websites that are mobile-friendly would definitely be favored by the new algorithm; ranking them higher in searches.  Websites who are still not configured to be mobile-friendly will find themselves getting demoted.  Why is Google doing this?  Currently, an estimated 60% of online traffic comes from mobile searches and browsing and the same IT support experts say that Google wants to ensure mobile users have as good an experience as possible.

Dubbed “Mobile-geddon” by those in the web building and IT support industry, many of whom are expecting an apocalyptic fall out for millions of websites not yet configured for mobile browsing, the major update promises to be a game changer.

Itai Sadan, CEO of Duda, a website building company said, “Come April 21, a lot of small businesses are going to be really surprised that the number of visitors to their websites has dropped significantly. This is going to affect millions of sites on the web.”

Most of those millions of sites would definitely be small businesses.  These businesses, IT support experts say, most of which depend on localized searching for people to find them, will definitely see a decrease in foot traffic as a result of this major algorithm change.

Sadan continues on to say, “Google has always been about relevancy, and content is king,” he says. “But that’s changing. Yes, they’re saying content is still extremely important, but user experience is just as important. It’s not sufficient to have all the right content — if people come to your site and the content is there but it’s not readable, that’s not good.”  IT support experts agree and are braced for an onslaught of small business owners wanting their websites made mobile-friendly.

The major update will not just affect small businesses though; IT support insiders predict that even big brand companies whose websites are still not mobile-friendly will also suffer a decrease in foot traffic resulting from the algorithm change.

According to IT support enthusiasts, “Mobile-geddon” is happening, whether or not companies have made the necessary changes.  To check if your website is mobile-friendly, visit Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Page.