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April 14, 2014

Google Updates Mobile Search: 2 Step Check to See if You're OK

You may have heard that there’s a new Google update arriving later this month, it’s a biggie for sure but don’t get sucked in by all the fearmongering: for your site it could be a good thing. Google’s always trying to give better quality search results so if your site follows best practices you should be anticipating these updates, not dreading them. We’re going to show you in two quick steps how to check what impact this will have on your site.

The Low-Down

So what is actually happening? It’s expected that Google is releasing a new mobile crawler that will help it better read mobile websites and Android apps to determine quality sites. This will, in turn, affect the search results pages for mobile users as Google will show sites that are mobile friendly over sites that are not.

Google said that this will be a big update, bigger than Panda or Penguin and those updates really shook up search rankings in their time. So it sounds like we’re going to see some significant changes.

What Could This Mean For You?

If your website isn’t mobile friendly then your website’s rankings in mobile search engine results will likely suffer. If your website is mobile friendly then this is great news for you - sites that rank above you in the results but are not mobile friendly will finally get their comeuppance and you’ll hopefully get a rankings boost above them!

Check How Your Website Will Fare

1 - First step is to check out the handy tool Google provided to see what your website’s results are.

Good score? Congratulations, your

Bad score? Things are not looking good for your site, move on to step two to see how much this may affect your business.

2 - Take a look at your Google Analytics data to see how many of your users are coming to your site through Audience > Mobile > Overview.

Google Analytics mobile traffic

Then click on the ‘All Sessions’ segment at the top of the page. From the drop-down deselect ‘all sessions’ and select instead ‘Organic Traffic’.

Google Analytics overview

Below the graph you’ll be able to see how many visitors per month visit your site through mobile search results.

Google Analytics audience overview

Extra tip: If your site isn’t mobile friendly, look at your bounce rate and pages/session as they will give you an idea of how visitors react to your site. The example below is from a responsive site (mobile friendly) so there is only a small difference in bounce rate and pages/session of the mobile device and the desktop.

So What To Do From Here?

If your site didn’t do well on the Google Mobile test and you’ve seen the numbers of visitors you currently get from mobile search, you need to ask: What will be the impact of losing these visitors? And then: What would the benefit be of getting even more mobile visitors?

If you’ve been putting off building a mobile friendly website now seems like the time to bite the bullet and get it done or you might be left behind.

Never Fear - Help Is Here

We’ve been building mobile friendly sites for years so if you have any questions or would like our help just get in touch.

Read Google’s post on the release here. If you’re keen for some deeper-geek info check out these posts:

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