Mobilegeddon, as it came to be known, was a major Google SEO algorithm change that occurred in April 2015. Essentially, what it meant for SEO was preference was given to sites or content that was mobile-friendly. Initially, it applied only to searches on mobile devices and smartphones.
The announcement sent the world of SEO into a whirl. Although it did not affect normal searches on a PC, given the large and growing number of mobile searches, it was still a significant change. More than half of all Google searches are conducted on a mobile device, and this number is growing steadily.
The change looked at the relevance of the content, page speed, and the mobile user experience. In reality, this is something SEO practitioners should have been doing all along.
The move came after other major Google algorithm changes, notably Panda and Penguin. The effect was not as dramatic as many people anticipated, and they also had fair warning to make the necessary changes in time. Again, the changes were in the best interests of all parties.
Those who made the necessary changes had mobile-friendly sites that loaded faster and gave the browsers a good user experience on their mobile devices. The result was better SEO outcomes, as well as increased engagement. People would visit the site more often and stay there longer.
The 2015 change was, however, just the beginning.
Google has continued to increase the importance of mobile optimization. Again, this makes sense because of the growth in mobile searches. The required changes should have been done a long time ago, and those who failed to adapt are losing out on a large part of the market.
Since late 2016, Google has been warning that it is working on Mobile-First Indexing and has slowly started to implement it this year. If you have still neglected to ensure your site is mobile-friendly, now is the time to do it, and quickly.
Ignore this aspect of SEO, and your traffic will suffer. Sites and content that are not mobile-friendly will be punished and not perform as well in the search engine results. The effects of Mobile-First Indexing will, in the long run, be more profound and far-reaching than the 2015 changes.
There are several tests, including one from Google that one can use to ensure the content is up to the required mobile-friendly standards. This should be a top priority for business in all sectors.
If the site is not up to scratch, it is easy enough to fix.
Responsive design is the solution
As the name suggests, responsive design means the content will respond to the device on which it is being viewed. The aim is to give the user an equally good experience on a smartphone or tablet that he or she would have on a desktop.
Without getting too technical, a good responsive design relies on three core principles:
- Fluid grids
- Flexible images and graphic content
- Media queries
Fluid grids simply adjust the size, spacing, and layout according to the device on which the content is viewed.
Flexible media and images refer to how the graphic content adapts, scales, and loads, according to the device.
Media queries detect the web browser size and device type to guarantee the size, spacing, and layout are perfectly optimized for the circumstances.
Page load speed
Another critical aspect that applies not only to mobile-first is page load speed. This is becoming increasingly important for SEO in general and, obviously, also has a significant bearing on your mobile ranking. Fast load times are essential for good SEO results.
There are a few additional elements that need to be addressed to achieve good SEO in light of these recent changes. What is important is you evaluate the responsiveness and mobile-friendliness of your content and take immediate action to make sure it meets the necessary requirements. Not doing so will have a significant negative impact on the success of your site.