Earlier this year, Google announced that it would be changing its search algorithm. The new algorithm rewards websites that are mobile friendly, and penalizes sites that are not (with lower search rankings). As a result of this announcement, the Internet was immediately abuzz with rumors about the impending “Mobilegeddon.” While this panic was an overreaction, it is important to make sure your association’s website isn't penalized by these changes.
The idea behind these changes is to give mobile users the best search experience possible. Mobile traffic now makes up around 60% of all web traffic, according to a recent comScore report. Given those numbers, it makes perfect sense that Google would reward websites that are mobile friendly. This is one of the reasons why every MemberConnection website utilizes responsive design and is mobile ready out-of-the-box.
Follow these tips to ensure your website isn’t penalized by Google’s new search algorithms:
1. Make sure your website’s text is large enough that users don’t have to zoom in or scroll horizontally when viewing it on a mobile device.
2. Utilize a responsive layout that rearranges content elements to optimize them for a smartphone screen.
3. Ensure links are large enough and spread far enough apart that they can be easily clicked using a touchscreen device.
Key Things to Know
1. Google’s new algorithm will only affect search results on mobile devices. It will have no affect on Google searches made from desktops or tablets.
2. Websites that aren’t mobile friendly won’t be removed entirely from search results. Websites with content that is relevant to a given Google search will still display – just not as highly ranked as they would otherwise.
3. The algorithm effects search rankings for individual webpages, not entire websites.
Below are some resources to ensure your website complies with Google’s new algorithms:
1. Google’s Release: This is the statement that Google put out describing the new algorithms.
2. Mobile Friendly Test Tool: This tool from Google allows you to test individual pages on your website to see if they are mobile friendly.
Even if search rankings aren’t particularly important to your association, it’s essential to have a website with responsive design. As mentioned earlier, 60% of web traffic now comes from mobile devices. Many of your members undoubtedly use their mobile devices as their primary way of accessing the Internet. MemberConnection's integrated content management system is completely responsive allowing members and staff to connect with your association on-the-go.
Has Google’s new search algorithm impacted your association’s website? Have you taken steps to move to a responsive design? Let us know in the comments below.