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Google is Changing The Face of Mobile Search

March 23, 2015

Mark April 21 On Your Calendars

In a move that is highly out of character, at least when it comes to their search algorithm changes, Google recently announced that the landscape of mobile search will be changing – quite dramatically it seems. To this point, desktop search was largely correlated to mobile search results, even if the websites being shown were not necessarily mobile friendly. In their quest to constantly improve user experience, it seems that Google will now promote mobile friendliness as a mobile search ranking factor.

It makes a lot of sense.

April 21 marks the changeover. What the ultimate consequences will be, we don’t yet know. It will be big, though. It stands to reason that a usable website would be a major criterion for good search rank.

Do You Need A Responsive Website?

The short answer is probably not. Google has advocated for responsive websites because ultimately, they do offer the best user experience across multiple mobile platforms. However, responsive websites are not the only way to present content on a mobile platform. Traditional mobile websites should perform just fine as long as they stay within the guidelines outlined by Google. Plus, there is no evidence that mobile search results will be device-specific.

So What To Do Next?

Google has already started notifying website owners that their websites are not mobile friendly through Webmaster Tools. Site owners can also use Google’s own scan to ascertain what, if any, issues their website may have. This tool can be found here https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

Make a point of checking the mobile friendliness of your website. If it does have a mobile website, but does not conform to Google’s new criteria, it should be fixed fast. Should the website have no mobile features at all, now is the time to retrofit. For surgeons and hospital programs, even if the statistics are not readily available, one could safely assume that at least 30% of site traffic is coming from a mobile platform. That makes it all the more important to get started on these critical upgrades to your website sooner rather than later.