Google’s “Mobile-Friendly” update not so friendly to RealtorsApril 13, 2015
On April 21, 2015, the search engine giant Google is planning to release a fairly significant new “mobile-friendly” ranking algorithm that’s designed to give a rankings boost to websites that are correctly optimized for Google mobile search results.
Based on what I know from working with Realtors all over the country, this is not good news for a lot of you.
They’ve been toying with labeling mobile-friendly sites as such in the search results for months, so anyone who pays attention to SEO knew something like this was on the horizon, but I personally didn’t think it would be to this magnitude.
Google did say when they announced this update was coming on the 21st (note: this is also the first time THAT has ever happened) that this would have a “significant impact” on mobile search results. Who really knows what that will actually equate to… and as I understand, this is only slated to impact the mobile results pages (results shown when searching from a mobile device). But even so, Google has gone on the record to say it will have more of an impact than both the Panda and Penguin algorithm updates did in previous years.
In regular human speak, that’s BIG. Potentially VERY BIG for anyone who doesn’t have a mobile-friendly website.
So, what exactly is a mobile friendly-website?
If you need to switch things up and convert to a mobile-friendly site, there are 3 ways to go about it: responsive web design, dynamic serving, or totally separate URLs. You can learn more about the pros and cons of each configuration and how to go about the process here.
OR, the simple chart below illustrates the differences:
In most circumstances, responsive web design will be the way you’ll want to go. It’s also Google’s recommended method of design, so you might want to consider that.
If you currently have a website but aren’t sure if it’s mobile-friendly, you can basically ask Google by using its Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
If it’s not, we’re pretty lucky in the real estate industry to have several options ranging all the way from simple and inexpensive template based responsive sites from Placester.com (see our reviews of Placester.com websites) to full custom responsive websites from providers like RealEstateWebmasters.com (see reviews of REW websites).
Regardless of which direction you choose to go, one thing is for certain… if you want to reap the rewards that Google is about to hand out, you need to make sure you do it very soon!