The end of pinch and zoom: Google's new algorithm prioritizes the mobile experience

Will your website's search results be demoted by the new mobile-dominant Google algorithm?

When people come to your website on a mobile device, are they forced to download huge images? Do they need to double tap or pinch-to-zoom to see your navigation? Is the text too small to be readable on a smaller screen? Is your mobile experience comprised of a standalone, site?

If any of these scenarios ring true, you may want to be prepared for the so-called "mobilgeddon" that is coming your way on April 21, 2015 with the new Google search algorithm. This update by Google is in response to the dramatic worldwide adoption of mobile devices and will force organizations to create better mobile experiences .

What are the changes and what impact will they have on our organization's search results?

Once the new algorithm is in place, any user on a mobile device will have their Google search results prioritized in favour of sites that have an experience optimized for mobile.

A mobile optimized experience is defined by Google as one that uses responsive web design and "serves all devices with the same code that adjusts for screen size".

With this new preference in search rankings and the demotion of sites that don't have a mobile experience, Google will raise the bar for all users and will make non-mobile friendly experiences punishingly unacceptable.

If your site is already responsive and passes Google's mobile friendly test, then good news! Your site's results will be higher than those of your competitor's non-optimized site. But what if your site doesn't pass the test?

Why wouldn’t your website be mobile optimized - it's 2015, right?

End users have come to expect a responsive experience for all of their mobile interactions on every website they visit, from e-commerce and utility to insurance and entertainment. However, many organizations have not yet invested in a modern mobile experience.

If your organization is stuck with an mobile site with ten pages of content or your website requires sideways scrolling and serious zoom to ready any content, perhaps one these scenarios explains your organization's dilemma:

  • when we launched our last version of the website, mobile was seen as "optional"
  • responsive design was cut from the budget
  • it took two years to get this version of our enterprise website launched and we aren't ready to take on an overhaul yet!
  • the budget for our new website has been approved, but not until 2016 (or 2017!)

These may seem to be daunting roadblocks, but there is a way to quickly create a great mobile experience without overhauling your entire site.

Don't start from scratch - adapt your existing website with a responsive experience

If you have a website without a mobile optimized experience but don't have the time or budget for a ground up rebuild, don't worry, Habanero can help.

We have developed a proven approach that has helped several clients address the gap between their current, non-mobile friendly site and a ground up, fully responsive rebuild. We work with your team to understand and adapt your existing website and content with a responsive solution. We assess your website from a design and technical perspective, evaluate all of its templates, layouts and interactions, and quickly create a mobile optimized experience for your site, across the entire device landscape.

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