“Mobilegeddon” Is Coming April 21 – Is Your Website Ready?

89% of all smartphone owners worldwide conduct searches on Google.

In short the take away is “go mobile or become irrelevant”. Here is what you need to do to ensure you are ready for “Mobilegeddon”. Here are a few experts on what to expect and how to prepare from a few of my favorite go-to strategy sites:

According to a recent Google blog post, the search giant is currently working on a major algorithm change that will revolutionize the way mobile friendliness is determined. Starting on April 21, this new algorithm will be gradually rolled out worldwide, affecting mobile searches in all languages in all corners of the globe. (Entrepreneur.com)

Update as of April 21 via Mashable:

Moving forward, when you do a Google search on mobile, search results will prioritize websites that the search engine deems “mobile-friendly” — ones that avoid software like Flash and feature larger text, easy-to-click links and a responsive design. Sites that aren’t up to snuff will likely appear lower in search results.

The change will impact millions of sites, more than Google’s last major search ranking algorithm update, Google Panda. Panda, which was launched in 2011 and has been updated several times since then, downranked 12% of all sites that Google rated low-quality.

It’s impossible to determine just how many of the Internet’s 177 million sites are mobile-friendly, but Forrester Research estimates that just 38% of all enterprise web sites — sites for businesses with 1,000 or more employees — don’t meet Google’s criteria. READ MORE.

Does this affect you?

Using the mobile friendly labels and Google mobile testing tool are good indicators of whether you will be impacted.

Analyze your current performance

Do you understand your current mobile landscape? What landing pages and content are the best performing on mobile? Understanding this in advance of the update is imperative to ensure you are reacting in the right way afterwards, should there be any fluctuations.

It goes without saying, but understanding current percentage of traffic from mobile across channels, so you can easily identify if this changes. (Stateofdigital.com)

"Mobilegeddon" Desktop vs mobile

Design

“Mobile-only” designs are relatively simple to build and generally economical in development cost. Responsive websites are more complicated to build; having a higher upfront cost. One important consideration is the “lifetime” cost.

Over time, it can be much more cost-effective to build a responsive website and optimize it for all standard resolutions. This also means that future updates related to content are to be done at one place instead of multiple versions of the website(s) that cater to each screen width. (SearchengineWatch.com)

Search Engine Optimization

Most mobile sites are built on a subdomain, m.domain.com. If you choose to go that route, remember to utilize canonical tags pointing to the desktop URL for duplicate mobile pages. This resolves potential duplicate content issues. Don’t put canonical tags on unique mobile content. Both the mobile and the desktop pages can rank for competitive phrases. Responsive sites require no special SEO consideration beyond normal best practices. (SearchengineWatch.com)

Linking

From a practical perspective, link-building to one site is more productive and cost-effective than building links to two sites. Mobile link-building is different from traditional link-building and requires a different approach. A responsive design mitigates running a second campaign. (SearchengineWatch.com)

Preparing for Future Updates

Does your site meet the Mobile-Friendly test? Even if your site makes the grade today, there’s no guarantee that it will continue to stand up to future changes. Staying on top of mobile search trends needs to be a priority item. (SearchengineWatch.com)