Google Inc. began shuffling its rankings for mobile websites Tuesday (April 21st), potentially benefiting sites like Brain Power Websites and their clients and hurting others like retailer Zumiez Inc. and IRS.gov.
Google said it tweaked its algorithm for mobile searches to favor sites that look good on smartphone screens, and penalize sites with content that is too wide for a phone screen and text and links that are too small.
Given Google’s importance in driving traffic to websites, some in the industry dubbed the change “mobilegeddon.” Google updates its algorithm frequently, but this is considered by some experts to be its most significant change in years. In an unprecedented move, Google warned website operators in February that the change was coming, and gave them tips on how to prepare.
“We have been ahead of this change for a very long time; every website we create is mobile friendly. We have always seen this as a standard feature that is built in to our framework, not some kind of patch that is tacked on to a website. The statistics around the steadily increased mobile phone usage is what originally prompted us to make this such a focus. We are influenced by our client’s customer base; we want to make sure we are providing a product that serves our clients well. While others are scrambling to add patches to their website to make them mobile friendly we are looking forward to what is next. ,” said Micheal Petrulli, founder of Brain Power Websites and chief nerd.
The change is also important for Google. A company executive said at a conference last year that searches from mobile devices were poised to surpass searches on personal computers.
Google also wants more users to surf the Web on their phones instead of using mobile apps. Google sells ads that point to websites, but generally cannot direct searches to content inside apps. Some companies, including India e-commerce giant Flipkart, have dumped their mobile websites and told visitors to use their mobile apps instead.
“As people increasingly search on their mobile devices, we want to make sure they can find content that’s not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens,” a Google spokeswoman said.
“A lot of small businesses are not aware of how big of an impact this will have on their business; part of our job is to educate them. We have always made sure that our clients have a basic understanding of the importance of having a mobile friendly website, add that to our strong SEO (search engine optimization) built in to our websites for organic growth and that is a winning combination. We empower our clients, not only does this make them more knowledgeable, it saves them money. We truly want our clients to succeed, we enjoy helping small businesses,” said Micheal Petrulli, founder of Brain Power Websites and chief nerd.