Pack your emergency kit and seal the blast doors—Mobilegeddon has arrived.
Wait, sorry, those are the things you need to prep for Armageddon. Today is Mobilegeddon, totally different. If you haven’t heard of it, Mobilegeddon is what some call Google’s latest search algorithm update for mobile-friendly sites, and today is its release date. While nobody can say just yet what the true impact will be on search engine rankings, we can assume it will be a fairly impactful change given that most websites in higher education are older and not mobile responsive. And the fact that Google announced this release, calling the impact “significant”, points to a shake-up in mobile rankings. Here’s what you need to know, and the potential impact on your institution.
What is this update and who will it impact?
This update will only impact search rankings on mobile devices. It will potentially impact all search rankings on mobile, as it weighs a site’s mobile friendliness.
Will it impact desktop or tablet results?
As of now, the impact is only for mobile smartphones. Tablets and desktop rankings will not be impacted. But given the direction of mobile usage, this could change in the future.
Will this update impact entire websites, or is it page-by-page?
This is a per-page update, meaning that your site is not penalized globally for having pages or sections that are not mobile-friendly. Pages that are mobile-friendly will be ranked accordingly.
Can pages be partially mobile-friendly?
No. According to Google, a page is either mobile-friendly or it isn’t. No bonus points for partial friendliness.
How big could the impact on my site be?
It’s not completely known at this point, but we assume significant. Some are reporting that it may be bigger than the Penguin and Panda updates of 2011 and 2012, which would mean more than 10 percent of all mobile search results are impacted.
Will my site’s mobile rankings drop right away?
Most likely not. It can take days hours, days, or weeks for Google to crawl your site, so you may not see a change immediately.
Will this impact my SEM campaigns through AdWords?
No, this change is only going to impact organic search results.
How important is this to me? What should I be doing now?
This should be very important to every college and university. Whether undergraduate or graduate students are your target audience, you are primarily dealing with younger generations who search via mobile more than anyone else. And that trend is just continuing to grow.
If your site is not mobile-friendly, you should be thinking about how to make this a priority in the near future. Ultimately, search engines drive traffic to your website from people looking for what you offer. These are the best prospects you can find – they are the ones finding you!
A new website can be expensive, and it is a lot of work, but it’s also a necessity. Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about getting started, or request a free enrollment marketing assessment that covers your overall enrollment strategy, as well as website design and structure.
Good luck on Mobilegeddon day!