Google has done it again. On April 21, the search engine giant began rolling out its newest algorithm — one that has the potential to send pages that aren’t “mobile-friendly” straight to the bottom of the rankings.
Here’s what the new Google search algorithm means for your small business, and how you can keep your website’s ranking from plummeting.
What It’s All About
Google, in its never-ending attempt to be the best search engine king, wants to make sure its users find exactly what they’re looking for. Since as many as 80% of Internet users perform searches on their smartphone, Google has decided to give ranking priority to sites that are mobile-friendly.
Google claims the change will only apply to searches performed on mobile phones. So if you’re lacking a mobile site but someone is looking for you on a PC or laptop, your ranking won’t be affected. It also takes search query numbers into account, so if a billion people are searching for you, you’ll still show up – you’ll just be at the tail end of every other site a billion people are searching for.
What Google Wants
Google is trying to provide people with a more streamlined search experience. It’s not the bad guy. It doesn’t want your small business to fail, which is why the company has rolled out some pretty cool tools to help you get through this change.
This clever little tool allows you to type in your website’s URL test your small business website’s mobile-friendliness, using the same criteria Google uses to test it itself.
Google isn’t keeping any secrets either. Here’s a list, taken from the Google blog, of exactly what makes your website mobile-friendly, including things like readable text, appropriate size and spacing and the lack of non-mobile-friendly plug-ins like Flash.
What Your Small Business Should Do
The solution is relatively simple. If you don’t already have one, get a mobile site…pronto! If you’ve already got one, test it out and make sure Google is on board with your set-up. The coveted “mobile-friendly” stamp of approval can mean the difference between a booming small business and one that lurks in the bowels of the Internet, unseen and unappreciated.
Don’t let your small business website get buried under the crushing weight of ever-changing algorithms.