image of tausif akram By: Amby
16 May 2015

Prioritize Mobile Response or Suffer the Penalty

The changes to Google’s algorithm have had a long history when it comes to having an impact on SEO-concerned corporations. Content farms were the first place to suffer from a significant hit, with companies including Ask.com seeing significant declines in traffic due to their low-quality content. The change that Google made to Panda in 2011 forced companies to start improving their writing guidelines and content quality. The next target on Google’s list was sites with poor link quality, and the Penguin algorithm update started to penalize websites that linked to poor quality content. In simple terms, if you were responsible for spreading incorrect or irrelevant information, you’re going to be punished. So what’s next?

Mobile is a Must-have

On the 21st of April, Google issued another algorithm update to benefit the consumer, rewarding the companies who have chosen to make their website more mobile-friendly. Unfortunately, while most of the previous algorithms have had larger impacts on big companies, this new update is more likely to affect small retailers and publications who haven’t had a chance to prioritize their mobile presence yet. According to Google, the change will be in the favor of the consumer. Users should find it easier to get high-quality, relevant search results that have been optimized to their devices. A page can qualify for a mobile-friendly label if it meets the following criteria:

  •  Content adjusts in size so that users do not have to zoom or scroll horizontally
  • The text is readable without extra zooming
  • Software is used that can be compatible with mobile devices
  • Links are placed far enough apart to facilitate easy tapping

The Impact of the Update Obviously, the new algorithm makes responsive site design incredibly important, rather than simply something that is “nice” to have. Most platforms for e-commerce now offer responsive templates that can be implemented immediately to stop your site from losing any traffic as a result of the update. Even without the Google support, mobile shopping experiences were on route to becoming more influential to the bottom line of retails. Data has found that around 15% of all conversions made in retail in the U.S. comes from research that was done from mobile devices first. For certain industries, that number increases to 36%

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