In the weeks before April 21, online marketers around the world could feel the all-too-familiar feeling of the algorithmic winds changing. All of the chatter and fanfare about “Mobilegeddon” meant only one thing: a storm in the online realm was brewing, and Google’s algorithm was due for an update.
Google’s latest algorithm update was not geared towards targeting web spam, but rather reflected only the mobile-friendliness of a website. Sites that failed to become mobile-friendly by April 21 (despite the numerous warnings Google doled out to get them to comply) were cast down to the depths of no rankings on the mobile SERP, while others who were optimized for mobile triumphed in traffic. Now that the arrival of “Mobilegeddon” has come and gone, we can see the lasting importance of being “mobile-friendly”.
What makes a site mobile-friendly?
Now that Google has announced that mobile searches have now surpassed desktop searches, having a mobile-friendly website is more crucial now than ever. To make sure that your website is ready for mobile, here are some of the characteristics of mobile-friendly sites:
- Avoidance of software uncommon to mobile devices, like Flash
- Text that is readable without zooming
- Content sized in ratio to the screen so that users don’t have to scroll horizontally
- Placing links far enough apart so that they may be tapped easily
The Core SEO Benefits of Google’s Algorithm Changes
Though the performance and rankings of millions of sites have fluctuated due to changes in Google’s algorithm in the last few years, we’ve also seen the positive effects of Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and Pigeon on SEO. If you model your SEO goals after the following core beliefs, you can ensure you’ll be prepared for the next update that Google rolls out:
Google’s user-focused commitment – At its core, Google’s goal is to help search users find the information they’re looking for as quickly as possible. The Panda update further solidified Google’s commitment to its users, as it’s a search filter designed to stop poor quality content sites making their way into Google’s top search results. Google’s Panda update was not a onetime update, as it continues to be updated from time-to-time today. Through this update, Google is explicitly expressing its requirement for quality content, so make sure your site isn’t using any thin, duplicate, or machine-generated content to make sure your rankings aren’t negatively affected.
Good rankings for in-depth content – In modern SEO, it’s not just content that is king: it’s relevant content that truly rules. Prior to Google Panda, even thin content could rank highly. Those days are now over, and posting content that is well-written and relevant is step one in improving your rankings.
Google: Against Links spam – Google’s goal is to provide the best results to users and decrease the rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. When a new Penguin Update is released, from an SEO point of view, sites can take action to remove bad links through the Google disavow links tool and can regain their rankings. A smart and sparingly done SEO strategy can get benefit over their competitors in these Penguin releases. If you’re only creating quality links and are avoiding any spammy link back techniques, you’ll find your SEO efforts benefiting your site.
Dedication to local community – Google’s Pigeon update completely changed the way local marketers went about SEO: 58% of local marketers changed their tactics after the Pigeon update, and they’re definitely better for it!
Google’s algorithm updates and changes keep the SEO world evolving at a rapid (and sometimes unexpected) pace. If you’re looking to swim along with and stay above the algorithmic current, a scalable, organic approach to link building and a focus on providing quality content, (from text to infographics, to videos) are the best ways to grow your traffic amidst changes on this dynamic digital playing field.