Search engine optimization (SEO) is going mobile, just like everything else. You may know about Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm update, especially if you’ve been focusing on SEO for your business or website for a few years. However, the latest algorithm is set to launch on April 21 and it’s all about mobile rankings. According to Google employee Ait Ait Bahajji of the Webmaster Trends team, this latest update will pack a bigger punch for Panda and Penguin than ever before.
Details of the mobile algorithm were discussed at the March 2015 SMX Munich, but (as always) Google is still keeping a lot of the nitty gritty information under wraps. Zineb Ait didn’t give away much, but she may be suggesting that mobile searches—which make up 40 percent of all queries—might be optimized in a new and improved way by Google. Consider that Panda only impacts around 12 percent of queries and Penguin gets four percent at best, so it’s about time a mobile-based algorithm was put into place. However, she may have been alluding to the idea that the latest changes will put Panda and Penguin on the same route as the dinosaurs.
What We Know about Mobile
It seems SEO experts will have to wait until April 21 to really discover what Google has up its sleeve. However, it’s well known that mobile-based algorithms only affect mobile searches, unless of course Google has found a way to get around that. Most experts agree that Ait is only talking mobile, but you never know with Google. If that’s the case, the timing couldn’t be better. Right now, mobile searches make up almost 50 percent of all searches, and it’s slated to be the majority in the next few years.
People search differently on mobile devices than they do on desktop. That’s been known since the early days of mobile searches, and it’s a challenge for SEO. However, just because people search differently on mobile devices doesn’t mean the mobile algorithms (in the US that basically means the same thing as Google algorithms) are keeping up. Plus, the mobile usage varies from search engine to search engine, but with Google mobile searches hover at the 50 percent mark.
What Website Owners Can Do Now
If you own or manage a website and want to draw in your mobile crowd, you don’t need to wait until April 21. Getting a site mobile friendly is about more than just playing to the SEO algorithm preferences. Start by ensuring the site features responsive design, this means that it displays quickly and well no matter what kind of device or browser is being used. Next, you may want to consider mobile readiness with a mobile version of the website, an app, or both. Mobile readiness isn’t the best fit for all websites, but it should certainly be a consideration.
Keep in mind that the use of mobile devices will only continue to increase, so it’s best to take action now in order to keep and draw in more customers.