Some call it Mobilegeddon.
Google began to roll out a mobile-friendliness update last Tuesday, April 21, 2015. With this latest, major algorithmic change, Google will now be boosting search rankings of mobile-friendly web pages on its mobile search results.
A page is eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label if it meets the following criteria as detected by Googlebot:
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
- Uses text that is readable without zooming
- Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
How will this algorithmic change affect your law firm website’s search results?
Your website’s traffic from search results will begin to be impacted by whether it passes or fails Google’s mobile optimization requirements. With failure, your site’s search rankings on mobile searches may take a serious hit.
While early indications are that the sky has not yet fallen, and only modest fluctuations in search results are at this point being seen, it’s important to note this update is still in its implementation phase.
The long-term impact of this change may not yet be fully apparent.
Many commentators, including Kevin O’Keefe of LexBlog, forecast significant negative consequences for law firm websites that fail the mobile-friendliness test:
Those law firms who don’t act will suffer the consequences of their content being ranked well below mobile friendly content on smart phones – the result will be significant reductions in search traffic.
Google has published a mobile-friendliness test tool that allows you to easily check whether your website pages are mobile-compliant. Note that this test applies to each individual page, rather than entire websites.
If your key pages don’t pass the test, this might be a really good time to be in contact with a web developer about updating your site.