Today is tax day and we are less than a week away from what some have called Google’s Mopocalypse among other catchy names for the Google Mobile Friendly algorithm update. I have been warning clients, prospects and people at events I attend for quite some time that it was coming, but I also understand that sometimes it takes some time to get approval and pull the trigger to get this done. I am now getting a lot of questions about what is going to happen on April 21 when a site is not mobile friendly. Does our business disappear? Do we lose all of our traffic? Does Google hate us now and have us banished to some scary penalty world? I’m here to help answer your questions and hopefully calm you a little bit.
Is the world going to end if my site is not mobile friendly on April 21?
The good news is Google is a little bit less punitive this time around. As I’ve mentioned in some prior posts, this update will 1) only push you down in mobile searches and 2) does not put you on a penalty list, but just pushes you down until they index your site and find that you have fixed the issue.
So is the world going to come to an end. No, but how much it hurts you highly depends on how much mobile traffic you get from SEO and how much that converts to new business. If mobile SEO traffic was a big part of your business plan, you have probably already addressed the issue, but if it is and you haven’t, then you should plan on a considerable problem. You should get mobile friendly as quickly as you possibly can.
Can you tell us how much traffic we will lose starting on April 21?
Well, not exactly, as Google doesn’t tell us the absolute specifics to this, but there is a good way to get a basic estimate if you have a good analytics program like Google analytics. Especially if you have a lot of data. The simplest way to look at it is to just expect to subtract out the traffic you get from mobile SEO traffic. So look at your historic data and determine what percentage of that traffic is from organic search traffic. Then from that traffic, determine what percentage is from mobile devices. That is generally what traffic you will lose. Consider seasonality and growth trends, but at a very general level, this will give you an estimate. Chances are if you are not mobile friendly, this traffic hasn’t been doing much for you anyway. Google is doing this to make a better user experience and provide searchers with better results. The reason this matters is because users typically bounce from sites that aren’t mobile friendly when they visit them on a mobile device. So likely this traffic wasn’t working for you anyway, which is a bit of a silver lining.
How quickly can we get this resolved?
Once your site is mobile friendly and Google indexes it, you should be good to go. You should ask your developer or some developer how quickly they can take care of this. Keep in mind that they are probably busy dealing with a lot of these issues right now from those that have pushed it off. Get an estimated timeline when you get a quote and see who is ready to do your work right away. Once it is done and live, you still need to get your site pages indexed from Google before the “penalty” goes away. You can help this by using Google Webmaster tools to “Fetch” your site and then index all pages linked to your home page. It isn’t a guarantee but it is like a friendly knock on Google’s door requesting they come take a look again.
If you need help with any Mobile SEO needs or search marketing needs in general, don’t hesitate to give us a call.