What Google Is Doing Differently—and How It Will Impact Your Website

By eleventy marketing group

Google Mobile SearchIs your website mobile-friendly? For the past several years, that question has taken on increasing importance as more people engage with websites via smartphones and tablets. But thanks to a new change from Google that question has become more important than ever.

We’ll tell you what Google’s doing differently in today’s post, as well as what you need to do to ensure your website is SEO-optimized moving forward.

Why Google Updates Matter To Your Website

Google dominates the search engine world. Sure some people use Yahoo or Bing for searches, but not nearly the numbers that use Google. A reality reinforced by the simple fact that people don’t regularly say “Yahoo it” or “Bing it”, they say “Google it”. Such a dominant force is Google in the search-engine world it has become part of our everyday vernacular.

And, as such, its methods of ranking search results should be understood by all organizations operating websites. After all, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to find your site through searches. So it’s important to follow Google’s guidelines and recommendations.

What Google Has Started Doing Differently

As of April 21, 2015, Google has changed the way it determines search-engine rankings. The primary change taking place—and the one that’s most relevant to your organization—is an increasing focus on the role mobile devices now play in searching the Web.

As stated on the Google Webmaster Central Blog:

“When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns.”

That blog post also notes that Google will be making two key changes to provide a better mobile search experience:

1. Mobile-friendliness will now be a key factor in ranking websites. In a nutshell, websites that are mobile-friendly will rank higher in Google search results. And sites that are not mobile-friendly will rank lower.

2. Content from indexed apps will show up more prominently in search results for people who have those apps. This change is likely less relevant to your organization at this time.

What This Means For Your Organization’s Website

Put simply: This new change from Google means having a mobile-optimized website is no longer just recommended, it’s essential. At least if you want to rank well in Google search results. Which, if you’re a business or nonprofit, you definitely do.

Not sure if your website is mobile friendly or not?

There’s any easy way to find out: You can check your site using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Just pop in your URL—it’s actually smart to test a few different pages—and Google will tell you whether or not your site adheres to their mobile standards.

If your site is not currently mobile friendly, you’re not doomed forever.

But you will want to take action as soon as possible. As long as your site doesn’t pass the mobile test, your Google rankings will suffer. But once you update your site to make it more mobile-friendly, Google will crawl it and your rankings should improve.

At this point, making sure your website is mobile-friendly is something every organization should make a top priority. And, remember, it’s not just your website either. The rule also applies to any landing pages you may have set up.

Need help updating your website to make it more mobile-friendly? Connect with eleventy today and we’ll help you get your site Google-approved in no time.