When Faced With ‘Mobilegeddon,’ Mobile Site Design and Performance Are What Counts
There’s been quite a bit of fear in recent weeks about the ominous-sounding “Mobilegeddon” and what it could mean in terms of mobile site searchability. While the name is probably overkill, it's really just a catchy way of telling people that Google is going to be adjusting its mobile search algorithm to factor in “mobile friendly” page design. This means website managers had better design their mobile sites in as user friendly a manner as possible, or else run the risk of being dropped down in Google’s page search rankings.
A site’s mobile friendliness can be factored in a number of ways. With the ultimate goal being favorable results in Google searches conducted on mobile devices, it makes sense to abide by the criteria that Google itself has outlined:
- Avoid software that's not common on mobile devices, like Flash.
- Use text that's readable without zooming.
- Size content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom.
- Place links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped.
You’ll notice that all of these criteria are related to site design rather than performance standards such as mobile site load speed and availability. Yet back in 2010, Google stated that its algorithm would begin to factor performance into its search rankings when it came to desktop sites. Now, given the prevalence of mobile browsing, wouldn’t it make sense to assume that performance will become a factor in this arena as well?
Of course it would, yet Google is being predictably vague about the whole matter. While it's not explicitly saying that mobile site performance will factor into its revamped search rankings, Google has made it clear in the past (as part of its mobile SEO guidelines) that slow mobile sites are a “common mistake.” However, whether that’s something that Google has already factored into its mobile search algorithm or if it’s just part of the natural meritocracy of a page’s traffic is impossible to know.