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Mobilegeddon: Are you prepared?

We’re all familiar with the frustration of trying to navigate non mobile-optimized websites on our smart phones: constant scrolling and zooming in make the experience unpleasant, and in the case of ecommerce purchases almost impossibly irritating as you must continually zoom in to box after box as you enter shipping and billing information. Constantly on the lookout for ways to improve search experience, and savvy to the fact that more and more people are using their smart phones for just about everything, Google has devised a plan to combat the growing frustration: give mobile-optimized websites an edge over traditional sites when a user is searching from a mobile device. Problem solved for users! Problem caused for business owners with non-optimized websites!
 
Google rolled out their algorithm change on April 21st of this year after warning website owners of their intentions back in February. Unlike previous algorithm changes that have been cloaked in a little more mystery, this most recent change is pretty straightforward: it affects only search rankings on mobile devices, it affects results in all languages, and it applies to only individual pages, not entire websites. So technically, a website owner could optimize only their homepage and leave the rest of the site as-is and still get decent rankings for the homepage, for awhile, anyways. More likely, users would bounce from the site as soon as they reach a non-optimized page, so this strategy would end up doing more harm than good in the long run.
 
Certainly the very best way to keep up with this latest change is to make sure your website is fully responsive. Developing a site to be responsive to all platforms definitely takes more design and development work, but is absolutely worth it in the long run. Keeping up a desktop site and a separate mobile site, (m.domainname.com) would work, but why go through the hassle of maintaining two sites? An expertly designed responsive site will display beautifully on desktop, tablet, and mobile, and so will be eligible for high rankings under Google’s new algorithm change.
 
So who will be most likely to feel the wrath of this change? Unfortunately, it will probably be smaller businesses for a few reasons. Larger corporations with seemingly infinite funds will most likely have already optimized their sites long ago, and even if they haven’t, it may not matter for them as much: mobile ranking will still only be one part of the complex algorithm that determines search rankings. So big, firmly established websites will already have solid SEO, strong domain authority, and multiple back links boosting them up the ladder, even if their site is not responsive. Foundational SEO practices, like completed meta data and keyword targeting become even more crucial for the success of smaller businesses.
 
We suggest using this new change from Google to your advantage: get your website into the mobile age by opting for responsive development, and don’t hesitate to start solid SEO practices. Need advice? Scriptilabs’ expert development and internet marketing teams are happy to help! 

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