Why Google Changed the Mobile Search Game

Guest Post: Matt Ward
President/CEO of inConcert Web Solutions

In case you are not aware, Google changed the game on April 21st as it pertains to search results on mobile devices.  Having announced the changes in February, mobile search results give preference to sites that are mobile friendly.

To be frank, Google rarely ever tells the public that there will be an update.  They are very secretive about their algorithm, keeping their secret sauce a secret to prevent anybody from “gaming” the algorithm. With these changes, Google clearly wants businesses to use best practices.  Google stated that they made these changes to improve the overall user experience on mobile devices, as mobile is becoming increasingly the method by which users access the internet and search for goods and services.

Fact and Fiction

With all the hype about “mobilegeddon”, let’s separate fact from fiction.

  • Fact:
    • They set the date, and rolled out the new algorithm on April 21st
    • They created a huge buzz
  • Fiction:
    • Your site will be banned from Google
    • This change also affects the desktop search
    • Google will call you to sell you and upgrade

Best Practices

Needing to make sure your site is mobile-friendly, let’s talk about a few best practices:

  • Contact your current web developer and ask questions about your site and any changes that have been, or should be made.
  • Don’t rely on cold calls from strangers to guide you on this change.  There are a lot of self-proclaimed “experts” calling into companies with no knowledge of their websites. These are typically automated robo-calls that imply that Google is calling. Google is not going to call you about updating your web site.
  • Test your website to be sure its mobile-friendly.
    • If it passes, great!
      • Test your site again every quarter.
      • Things change in mobile devices and technology; don’t assume if you test it once, it’s not going to ever change.
    • If not, focus your web efforts on getting your site converted.
      • It may cost less to produce a new, mobile-friendly website than to convert your existing site.
      • There are many paths to a mobile friendly site.  The cheapest path is not always the most cost-effective.
    • Focus your mobile-friendly version on driving calls to action, either clicks or calls.
      • Most site visitors on cell phones want to click and call a business, which is often easier then web surfing on a small screen.
      • Make sure you menu structure is clean and easy to follow.
      • Your most important information and calls to action should show up first

With some testing and updating, you can ensure that not only will your site be found by Google’s mobile search, but that visitors will enjoy visiting your site.

If you want to speak with an expert, please contact Matt and his team at inConcert Web Solutions. Specializing in web design & development, maintenance & marketing plans, and print & promotional services, the team at inConcert will gladly help you choose the best approach for your site and your business.