When Google announced, back in Feb 2015, that it was going to start adding ‘mobile-friendliness’ as a signal to its search ranking algorithm pandemonium typically ensued, and the term ‘Mobilegeddon – Google’s Mobile Friendly UPdate’ was coined.
As it came closer to the April 21st role out, webmasters worldwide were plagued by zealous SEO and Web Design companies, warning them that if they didn’t get their websites in mobile-friendly order, the end was nigh.
All hyperbole – mostly innocent, though we suspect that some less scrupulous firms were happy to jump on the term ‘Mobilegeddon‘ in order to fool site-owners into believing that the update meant you had to redesign your site (for a price, obviously), or lose your hard earned search ranking.
As with most updates that Google does, they give a lot of information, and if you read it carefully you’ll see that there’s very little to worry about. Here are two major points:
1. The signal affects mobile search – i.e searches done from mobile phones /tablets etc.
2. Your site won’t be penalised for not being mobile-friendly (though you won’t be rewarded either. In real terms what this means is that if your site is the most relevant to the term searched for, you’ll still rank (all other things being equal). If other sites are equally relevant, and are mobile-friendly, though, then expect them to rank better in the mobile results.
While the main message of this post is not to panic, don’t presume that’s a call to inaction. Far from it. The mobile friendly update is a healthy reminder of a couple of things for site owners and small businesses in particular: