By now I’m sure you must have heard the news that all SEOs had been expecting for quite some time. As of April 21st of this year, Google will formally recognize mobile-readiness as a permanent ranking signal by rolling this item into its algorithm.

According to Google’s announcement, the change will affect mobile searches in all languages, prompting speedy attention from Webmasters on a worldwide scale. So what can you do to prepare for the change with the time you have left? After all, you wouldn’t want to be left empty handed against competitors who may be preparing as we speak.

Know where you stand

Knowing how you will be impacted by this update is dependent on the role that mobile traffic plays on your page as of today. Roll up your sleeves and take a dive into your mobile data.

Sift through your analytics account and answer these key questions:

  • How much of my total traffic is mobile?
  • How much organic traffic is  mobile?
  • How many of my conversions are assisted by organic traffic?
  • How does mobile impact my goal completions and/or monthly revenue?
  • What landing pages do my visitors land on from mobile devices?

With this information, you will begin to form a clearer picture of the impact that mobile traffic has on your site as a whole. This will leave you better informed on how you want to roll out your mobile strategy if you haven’t already. Ask key questions you don’t have the answers to when you can.

Understand the nature of the update

At SMX West, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes confirmed that the mobile algorithm update will run on a page-by-page basis in real time as opposed to running site-wide like Penguin does. This has substantial implications for your mobile strategy since you may want to scale mobile development by beginning with your most important, traffic driving landing pages before moving on to development on deep sub-pages of the site.

Read Up & Get Help

Google has already released a mobile-friendly guide and Mobile-Friendly Test page that you can run your site through if you need direction on where to get started before you start considering how you will make changes to the site.

Maintain Mobile Mindedness

With recent changes such as the addition of “mobile friendly” labeling on results pages and redesigns to mobile knowledge graph results, it is clearer than ever that Google is striving for a seamless mobile experience. It is important to always keep this in mind as you move forward on new web projects.

4 Responses

  1. Great point about Google’s mobile update running page by page and advising companies with large sites to starting with most important pages first.

    Great post, Claudia!!

    1. Thanks Keith. I understand it must be daunting for large sites with the time-frame given between the initial announcement to next month when it rolls out so scaling the effort is key.

  2. A lot of good info here, Claudia! In early 2014, Google confirmed that based on their analytic data, the shift had been made that more people were accessing the Internet from their mobile devices than from PC’s. This algorithm update just confirms that what was once a “trend” is now the norm – and a mobile friendly website is no longer recommended but a necessity.

  3. No doubt the “page by page” is a big asterisk point here. I’m seeing a lot of people dropping their homepage URL in the mobile friendliness test and saying “Looks like we’re good!”. But have you checked your internal pages?

    Thanks for the full write up Claudia!

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