The internet is becoming more mobile by the day, and unsurprisingly, it’s Google that is leading the way.
In just two weeks, the search company will launch its biggest shake-up of mobile search to date, as it begins using mobile friendliness as a signal when ranking websites in the SERPs. From April 21, sites that have catered to a mobile audience with an optimised site will be rewarded with higher search rankings, while those that have yet to build a mobile friendly site are likely to see their rankings drop.
So what can you expect when April 21 rolls around? Here’s some of the key information we know so far about the algorithm change and how you can make sure your hotel is prepared.
How Do You Know If Your Hotel’s Website Meets Google’s Standards for Mobile Friendliness?
Unsure if your website meets Google’s mobile friendliness criteria? Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to find out. Just use the company’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to evaluate your site’s mobile performance on a page by page basis.
Another quick way to check your site’s performance is to search for it from your Smartphone. If your hotel’s website appears with the label “mobile friendly” under its URL in the search results pages, you know you have Google’s stamp of approval.
Lastly, you can go to Webmaster Tools to access Google’s Mobile Usability Report. This will help you pick up on any insights into practical changes you can make to improve your site’s performance for mobile users.
The Update Will Be “Significant”
Google have stated that the changes launched later this month “will have a significant impact in our search results.”
Speaking at a search marketing expo earlier in the month, Zineb Ait Bahajji from the Google Webmaster Trends team has already hinted that the change will have more of an impact on search results than previous much-discussed updates Panda and Penguin. The company has also been working determinedly over the past few years to ensure that it dominates the mobile market across all its manifestations. With this in mind, anyone interested in staying ahead in the online marketing game should brace themselves for a big infrastructure adjustment which will change the way mobile, and possibly desktop search functions all over the world.
Google Will Analyse Each Page Of Your Website Individually
Google insider Gary Illyes has revealed an interesting feature of the algorithm: rather than analysing the mobile friendliness of a website as a whole, it will make an assessment on a page-by-page basis.
What does this mean for your hotel?
If your current website has some pages which are optimised for mobile, and some which aren’t, Google will look at the pages separately, and reward the mobile friendly pages with higher rankings. In other words, they will not “punish” an entire website just because a few pages are not optimised.
However, for those of you that have opted for a professionally designed, responsive site, this is unlikely to be much of an issue.
Google Will Assess Your Hotel’s Website in Real Time
Gary also revealed that the algorithm will operate in real-time, meaning that if your website is already mobile friendly, it will immediately benefit from the algorithm change on April 21. If you take the necessary steps to get mobile friendly shortly after this date, you should notice the benefits as soon as Google picks up on these changes.
With that said, the longer you put off adapting to mobile, the more you risk losing out on guests to your competitors, so getting mobile-friendly as soon as possible should be a key priority.
Although some may resent having to jump to meet Google’s demands once again, failing to cater to your audience’s browsing habits is no longer an option in an increasingly mobile digital landscape.
How do you plan to adapt your website prior to April 21? Let us know in the comments below!