Last Friday I did a quick video and blog post on an announcement from Google that did not get a lot of coverage for some reason. The Google announcement I mean, not my post.
It was announced on the Google Webmaster Central blog and when you read it, it sounds like you will be rewarded for having a mobile friendly site. What it does not specifically say is that sites that are not mobile friendly will be punished. I guess that’s because Google for the most part does not view its actions as punitive but that’s what it will feel like to business owners who start to lose thousands of dollars worth of business.
Mobile search results have been different for quite some time. Not quite since the advent of WAP (age test) but certainly since the rise of mobile friendly sites like m.mysite.com . In order to keep its users happy, Google has been showing mobile friendly sites instead of the desktop versions for quite some time now. So what’s new? In January Google began sending out mass warnings to webmasters whose sites did not fit their guidelines on being mobile friendly. Prior to that all the signs were there that something big in mobile search was on its way.
This is a different kind of Google update as they have given us a deadline. I can’t remember them doing that before.. I’m sure they have, I just cant remember it. Usually you just wake up one morning and find that the rankings have all changed. This is one of the reasons why I believe this change will significantly impact the search results. The other reason is Google has said that “IT WILL HAVE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT IN OUR SEARCH RESULTS” . Always a good clue.
Ive been banging on about the growth of mobile search for some years now. It’s noyt unusual to see some sites with 60% mobile traffic and it’s pretty common to see numbers around 30%. That’s a big chunk of traffic. Google has to respond by directing users to results that give their mobile users a good experience. This means promoting mobile friendly sites over ones that aren’t. Of course this is only one factor or ranking signal but it looks like it will carry some weight given the amount of fanfare around it.
That is not an exaggeration. I know of many retailers that do a significant amount of business via mobile search even though their sites are not mobile friendly. That revenue will be switched off by Google unless they get their sites mobile friendly by the 21st of April. Watch today’s video for the details.
Don’t forget our Google Shopping webinar on Thu, Mar 19, 2015 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Also we’ll be exhibiting at the Ecommerce Conference and Expo in Melbourne next week. If you want a free 15 minute review of your site I’m booking in 15 minute slots. These usually go fairly quickly! Hope to see you there. A big thanks to Bookitlive for the booking tool.
UPDATE: Here is an update on the Mobile SEO story