Have you heard? Google is updating its search algorithm (again).
On April 21st, 2015, the newest update will go live, and it has the potential to affect nearly every website, including yours.
What We Know
Google updates its algorithm all the time. The complex equation interprets search queries and helps your searchers find what they’re looking for. Search Engine Optimisation is the process that webmasters and marketers alike need to use in order to make their website appealing to the algorithm and to searchers.
SEO itself consists of many rules and guides of practice, most of which have been developed as search engines have changed the way they scan through websites. It's mostly about making your website as appealing to the search engine as possible, while providing answers that searchers are actually looking for. This has meant at times completely changing how we do and think of SEO, but ultimately is pointing more towards finding and providing better solutions for the user.
The newest update, which Google has announced will go live on April 21st, concerns the mobile aptitude of a website. There are many factors that go into determining the ranking of your website for a given term, and soon its mobile responsiveness will factor in as well.
What We Should Do
It’s of no surprise that this should eventually matter to Google enough to incorporate it into the search algorithm. In early 2014, mobile traffic on the internet overtook desktop traffic, and the gap between the two will only widen in the coming years as more and more of the on-the-go searching that makes up our everyday lives takes over from the stationary desktop.
Since it’s Google’s mission to provide an answer to your question, understanding what makes a website helpful to the user is part and parcel of the search engine’s job.
So, what is there to do for us now that the change has been made public, and very soon, will be made live?
Google has provided a mobile grader, enabling you to check your website and whether it meets the standard. Criteria that the search engine will be judging on when determining mobile friendliness will be things like content width (is it wider than the device's screen?), size of text, and size and link placement.
Given, Google will be able to tell you what your website is doing wrong and doing right, there are other websites that will be able to help you determine whether you're optimised for a mobile website. HubSpot offers a marketing grader that can check mobile optimisation, as well as your SEO and social media marketing.
It can be tempting to stress out when new updates are released. However, updates are released all the time, and this one provides a helpful indicator of where online marketing is headed. Mobile marketing has been on the rise, and Google’s changes will provide the extra motivation we need to be providing searching buyers with the answers to their problems. The extent and the degree to which the changes will affect businesses will probably be seen over the next few months, and if your business is already pushing for a mobile-optimised website that understands the needs of its searchers, then not only are you running with the pack, you may be running ahead of it.