Unless you have been living under a rock for the last year or so, you will be well aware of the fact that Google has been hell-bent on improving its user-experience for all those who spend their time surfing the web using a mobile device. As a result, their mission has been to encourage business owners to embrace mobile website optimisation and to ensure that their website is easily accessible to everyone – regardless of the device which they are using in order to find the information that they need. Last year, the infamous ‘Mobilegeddon’ set the Mobile Revolution into full swing, making it practically impossible for business owners to ignore the call for mobile-friendly websites without seeing a significant drop in their rankings. Now, almost a year later, Google has announced that a new mobile update is on its way (cue nervous laughter and frantic calls to web developers).
According to Google representatives, we can expect the update to roll-out in May 2016. For those who previously took the consequences of Mobilegeddon seriously, and took steps towards improving their website to suit the needs of the mobile user, there really isn’t anything to worry about. However, for those who have dawdled and have yet to make the appropriate changes to their website interface and functionality, a drastic fall in rankings is inevitable. Thankfully, Google has left us with a warning of the update a month before it is set to take effect – something which they neglect to do more often than not. This means that there is still time to make some improvements which might limit the effects that the upcoming update will have on your Google rankings.
Ultimately, the new update will seek to re-inforce the standards which the Mobile Update / Mobilegeddon put into place in 2015. It will make the algorithm much more stringent, offering non-compliant, non-mobile friendly websites very little wiggle room. (Not sure as to whether or not your website is up to scratch when it comes to mobile adaptability? You can put it to the test using the official Google mobile-friendly test here.) However, before you start to panic, Google does offer business / website owners a saving grace. According to the Google Webmaster Central Blog, if a website contains high quality content that has received a great response in the past, and on a consistent basis, yet the website is not as mobile-friendly as it should be, the update will not affect rankings as intensely as it would if the site does not contain high quality content. However, despite this statement, it is becoming increasingly clear that mobile optimisation is no longer an option – it is a necessity.