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Following Mobilegeddon, Mobile SEO Is More Important Than Ever

Matt Brady
#Digital Marketing, #Inbound Marketing, #SEO
Published on May 15, 2015

Learn how Google's mobile-friendly update has affected the SEO landscape and what to expect in the future.

The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) community was rocked recently when Google rolled out their mobile-friendly update, which takes the experience that a website provides for mobile users into account, affecting its search rankings either positively or negatively as a result. This change was dubbed “Mobilegeddon,” and website owners across the internet scrambled to update their sites in order to avoid incurring a penalty. But now that the dust has settled, how has the SEO landscape changed?

The Dominance of Mobile Search

On May 5, Google announced that more searches now take place on mobile devices than on desktops or tablets. This demonstrates the importance of optimizing websites for mobile users, since users who search for information on mobile devices will be navigating to the sites they find. If sites are not mobile friendly, they will not only be penalized in search rankings, but mobile users will be less likely to use them.

Bing Joins Google

On May 14, Bing, the second most popular search engine behind Google, announced that it would also be ranking sites based on mobile-friendliness. Similar to Google, it has begun labeling sites with a “mobile-friendly” tag in search results, and it will begin rolling out an algorithm update that will improve the rankings of mobile-friendly sites.

Bing’s announcement does note that they will still consider the relevance of a site’s content in search results, so even if a site is not mobile-friendly, it may receive higher rankings if it is the most relevant site related to a certain search. For website owners, this demonstrates the importance of establishing authority in your area of expertise, along with making sure your site provides a good mobile experience.

In their announcement, Bing also provided a guide to how they determine mobile-friendliness, focusing on touch-friendly navigation, readable content, ability to scroll vertically, and compatibility with a variety of mobile devices. This is a good guide for website owners who want to make sure their site provides a good experience for mobile users, letting them know what they need to fix if they want to avoid being penalized in search rankings.

This Is Just the Beginning

Following Google’s mobile-friendly update, the SEO community has been watching carefully to see how the SEO landscape has changed. Google noted that the number of mobile-friendly websites increased by 4.7% in March and April, and SEO news sites noted some major sites that gained or lost search rankings as a result of the update. Interestingly, mobile and desktop search seem to be diverging, with sites being ranked differently in search results depending on whether the search is being performed on desktop or mobile.

It is clear that Google is constantly updating and tweaking their algorithms. They’ve mentioned that they plan to incorporate other signals, such as how fast sites load on mobile devices, into their algorithms. As Google works to ensure that they are providing the most relevant search results and helping people find the information they need online, it’s as important as ever to make sure you have a SEO strategy.

Do you need help determining whether your site has any SEO issues, whether they are related to mobile-friendliness or any other aspect of your online presence? Sign up for our Free SEO Health Check, and we can work with you to address these issues and formulate a strategy that will help you reach your ideal online audience. If you have any other questions about SEO or Inbound Marketing, please contact us to speak to one of our experts. We’re happy to help!