The world or the internet isn’t over, but the big event in web this week that set off some sort of panic, Mobilegeddon, has finally happened. Just like the world’s most prominent search engine, Google, promised months ago, it has changed its search algorithm to suit mobile friendly sites.
This simply means that over the next week, Google will be effecting changes to search rankings which will give a higher ranking or priority to websites that are designed with consideration for viewing on mobile devices. It’s actually specific to website access on mobile phones.
The adjustment in ranking means that websites that aren’t mobile friendly have a lower priority on a search results list, and Google will also specify whether a site is mobile friendly or not.
If you’ve tried to view any website that isn’t mobile friendly from your phone, you might have noticed that you have the added task of zooming into the page and moving it around just to get the right sort of view. For mobile friendly sites with optimised content, the page and its contents fit onto your screen and you view everything in the right proportions without any extra work.
Google is acting on this because the majority of Google searches are made on mobile devices and internet access started moving away from the desktop ages ago.
In the Zimbabwean context, this reality can’t be any clearer. The huge majority of the 5.9 million internet connections we have are made through mobile devices which make it an even more pressing concern. Even though that is the case, the majority of local websites(including this one sadly) aren’t mobile friendly.
What this means is that starting now every entity or brand that has a website has to make sure it’s mobile friendly, just as long as it wants to have a decent placement on Google search rankings. Just to be clear though, while ignoring this won’t stop your site from working, it just means that you won’t be a priority for Google searches.