April 21st – The Mobile SEO Doomsday – Are You Prepared?
There is a big update coming on April 21st this year. And it may result in total devastation for you and your website’s traffic if you are not prepared.
Am I being a little too dramatic? Maybe. But it doesn’t hide the fact that there is a HUGE update in terms of mobile traffic and search engine optimisation looming, and that you should be ready for it.
So what actually is going to roll out on April 21st 2015?
On that day, Google will start considering “mobile-friendly compliance” as an important search engine ranking factor in smartphone searches.
Websites that are not “mobile friendly” will start to lose a lot of traffic – how much will depend on their specific niche and the type of target audience they are servicing.
Mobile Search – Is It Big Already?
There was a time – just a few years back – when we used to hear that mobile search is going to be “the next big thing”.
Is it big already?
The shortest answer would be YES!
According to SEOClarity, mobile traffic constitutes 30% of total traffic – regardless of the industry. And that’s a lot of traffic.
As a matter of fact, for some industries and niches, this turns out to be more than 50% of their total traffic. And if they are not fully prepared before April 21st, they are going to lose a huge chunk of that.
What If It Doesn’t Concern You?
Yes, this is a possibility.
It is very much possible that this update is not going to concern you at all. But what does that mean?
Does it mean that you should stop worrying about it? Does it mean that you shouldn’t invest your time, money and other resources in making your website mobile-friendly? Or does it mean that you should do it all anyway?
For instance, Rand Fishkin from Moz estimated how much impact this update is going to have on them. The numbers were pretty low – so low, in fact, that Justin Briggs reckons that the impact is going to be even less than 1%.
But here is the important part …
Irrespective of the result and impact, Moz is still making its website mobile-friendly and in accordance with the upcoming Google update.
Because they realise that it is important. It might not have a big short-term impact on their mobile traffic and search engine ranking, but it is definitely going to play a big part in the near-future.
If you can take away only one thing from this post, take this:
“This update might not have a huge short-term impact on your website and mobile traffic, but it is going to be an important thing in the near-future. So do it anyway.”
The exact amount of traffic that you might lose is still a mystery. You will only know that once the update rolls out.
Therefore, the best idea is to prepare for it and make your website mobile-friendly regardless of the impact it is going to have.
And in case you forgot, the clock is ticking. April 21st.
To learn how you can prepare for the update, check out Google’s mobile usability reports and the mobile friendly testing tool to determine how well optimised your site is for mobile. You can also see Google’s mobile guidelines here.