Starting on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, Google is going to make a massive change to the way it ranks websites. How massive? This change outranks both Panda and Penguin in terms of its scale of impact on search results, according to Google’s Webmaster Trends analyst Zineb Ait Bahajji.
The change comes down to one very important criterion: whether your website, landing pages, and blog are fully optimized for mobile.
Are you ready for it? Let’s find out.
Google announced the change on its Webmaster Central Blog back in February and has done a thorough job ever since preparing marketers and website owners to predict how the change may affect their site and search traffic. They explain:
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.
If your site isn’t fully optimized for mobile devices, you will likely see a hit to your ranking on mobile searches. Which is why some people have started calling this “Mobilegeddon.” Since this change is all about solving for the searcher, I prefer the much less scary “Mobilefestivus,” but it’s not quite as catchy. Either way, you’ve got options.
In this post, I’ll walk through the upcoming change using some of Google’s helpful tools to help you prepare for it.
Note: If your website, landing pages, and blog are on HubSpot’s Content Optimization System (COS), then you’re all set. HubSpot’s COS uses responsive design to adapt to any mobile device and fully passes the sniff test on Google’s new algorithm. So customers on the COS, rest easy. If your website is on another system or your landing pages are on another marketing automation tool, the answer isn’t as cut and dry. It all depends on how the site was designed.
To determine your readiness, you’ll want to start with Google’s free assessment tool, which I’ll dig in to now.