Mobilegeddon: What You Need to Know About Google’s Algorithm Update

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Mobilegeddon is upon us. Unless you’ve been living in one of the few caves that isn’t wi-fi enabled, you’re probably aware that Google released a significant update to its algorithm this week. This update is specifically designed to reward mobile-friendly site results over non-mobile-friendly sites. While Google officially rolled out the update on April 21, they say “it’ll be a week or so before it makes its way to all pages in the index,” so results won’t be impacted immediately.

This update has the industry buzzing—as Google gave users advance notice of the change in February. (Typically, algorithm changes aren’t quite this specific, which leave users in a reactive state rather than with the opportunity to be proactive.) Along with notice on the Google Webmaster blog, Google also began sending Webmaster Tool alerts with the message, “Fix mobile usability issues” in addition to a list of the errors it found (Flash usage, viewport not configured, fixed-width viewport, content not sized to viewport, small font size and touch elements too close) and the pages on which these issues were found. These alerts began in early February, offering a two-month window to address updates before Mobilegeddon was launched.

So how do you know if your site has been affected? If your site was built using Responsive Web Design (RWD) or you have a dedicated m-dot site, chances are you’ll be fine. Google has also provided a tool that allows you to input your URL and see if Google views your site as mobile friendly. Mobilegeddon will evaluate each page individually, so it’s important to check your webmaster tools to see if Google views some pages or page elements as in need of optimization.

The good news is it’s not too late. Google says this algorithm will run in real time—meaning Google will recognize any changes, and the results should be adjusted shortly after. We will continue to monitor algorithm changes on our end to see how it’s affecting client sites and ensure we’re continuing to follow RWD best practices across the board.

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