Mobilegeddon has arrived for some websites as Google shakes up its algorithm so that sites that are better to view on mobile are prioritised in searches from phones.
Websites that are not properly built to display on mobile devices will be penalised in the rankings, an event some analysts have referred to as “mobilegeddon”.
But for most users, the change will mean that pages clicked through from mobile searches will be easier to read. The Google algorithm will now prioritise mobile-friendly sites, looking for larger text, links that are easy to click, and “responsive design” that changes their look depending on the size of the screen.
Webmasters and designers were told about the changes in February, when Google told them to get ready for the change by arranging their sites to make them easier to view on smaller screens.
It provided a test to check how usable sites were on mobile, and created a guide to how to make pages display best.
But some have worried that smaller businesses and web designers might not be aware of the changes, and be punished by the algorithm without knowing it.
"Come April 21, a lot of small businesses are going to be really surprised that the number of visitors to their websites has dropped significantly,” Itai Sadan, CEO of website builder Duda, told Business Insider. “This is going to affect millions of sites on the web."
Even though the change is now in effect, even big sites still seem to be failing the tests.
The change is part of a broader effort by Google to clean up mobile searches. About 60 per cent of online browsing is now done on mobile devices, and Google is looking to clean up its search page and results to make that process neater and easier for users.
"As people increasingly search on their mobile devices, we want to make sure they can find content that's not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens," a Google representative said.
Independent News Service