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Earlier this year, Google announced that they will be updating their search engine algorithm to efficiently adjust to the escalating use of mobile devices and the mobile web.  With mobile-commerce and smartphones being all the rage, Google must accommodate for the shifting consumer usage trends.  Starting on April 21st, Google’s new algorithm will give “mobile-friendly” sites a weighty advantage in the search ranks.

Google’s new mobile-friendly algorithm is expected to impact 40% of mobile searches compared to Panda influencing 12% and Penguin 4%.  These changes will be a game changer for companies, especially small businesses, that have yet optimized their sites for mobile devices.  Whether it’s due to a tight budget, limited resources, or just sheer laziness, there really isn’t any more time to procrastinate.

Google wasn’t very specific with the details of what their new algorithm entailed, but was clear to report the following two main points:

  1. “Mobile-friendliness” will significantly impact sites’ search ranking.
  2. Accordingly, this change will not only provide users with more relevant search results but also provide more relevant app content.

There is still time before the 21st, and Google has even provided a Mobile-Friendly Test and Webmaster Tools for sites to utilize to self-evaluate their mobile optimization and see where they can improve.  Hubspot also shared 15 Examples of Great Mobile Website Design which all share two things: easy to navigate and aesthetic.

With various emerging digital platforms, this is only the start of refinements Google will undergo to better adapt to evolving user trends.  PCs and laptops are still the most popularly used devices for online searching at 91% of users; however, smartphones stand at a close second at 80%.  89% of mobile media users utilize mobile apps compared to 11% using the mobile web.  No wonder Google sees a need for change.  And just like Google is making adjustments, startups and small businesses must be aware of their constantly evolving surroundings and strive not to fall behind in our increasingly mobile-centered culture.

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