The media loves a good ‘geddon.

  • Websites Prep for Google’s ‘Mobilegeddon’The Wall Street Journal
  • ‘Mobilegeddon’ could be bad news for 40% of top websitesUSA Today
  • A bunch of big companies are about to get punished by Google’s latest search algorithm updateBusiness Insider
  • Google’s Search Update Will Remake The Web In It’s Own ImageWired
  • Are You Ready For Google’s Mobilegeddon Phonepocalypse Tomorrow?Gizmodo

The headlines for Google’s most recent mobile search update are dramatic, but not wantonly alarmist. The change is big.

On Tuesday, April 21, 2015 Google updated its algorithms to favor mobile friendly sites. The change boils down to this: from now on, if a website is mobile friendly it will appear higher in searches performed on mobile devices.

Why is this update so big? Scale.

This single update will affect millions of websites – everyone from the Fortune 500s to the mom and pops.

Google is not in the habit of pre-announcing algorithm tweaks. In a move that gives clue to the dramatic impact of ‘Mobilegeddon’ on mobile search results, Google opted to give businesses and web developers 2 months to get ready. That should tell you something.

Where There Is Change, There Is Opportunity

Google controls two-thirds of the U.S. search market, and when Google changes its code, the internet scrambles to optimize.

There are several categories of people who stand to capitalize from Google’s mobile search update:

Now is the time not only to sell a current or potential customer on a mobile friendly website, but also an opportunity to upgrade a buyer’s entire online strategy including everything from ad buys to content optimization.

Most of the companies listed above overlap when it comes to services they provide. Google’s mobile search update has triggered a rush to provide technological lifeboats for SMB & enterprise stragglers. These companies will now be competing more than ever to retain high LTV clients that weren’t willing to commit prior to mobilgeddon.

Perhaps the biggest opportunity lies with SMBs. A 2014 study by Hibu indicates that 6% (only 6%!) of SMBs have mobile-optimized websites.

SMB website stats

Image: Hibu

 

Entire industries like restaurants, local retail, and home services – just to name a few – are heavily dependent on organic mobile search. Think about what percentage of a tow truck company’s business is generated from smartphone searches.

An independent study released by Google in 2014 focused on local businesses and the search activity of potential customers while on-the-go:

  • 72 percent of consumers who searched for local information on their smartphone visited a store within 5 miles.
  • 50 percent of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day.

Mobile search can make or break many SMBs.

Identifying Businesses That Have Yet To Make The Switch

Should every business know how Google’s mobile-friendly search update affects their search rank? Yes. Has every business made the necessary updates? No. Not even close.

Around two thirds of business websites still need to make the change. Adoption is happening quickly, but there is still a long way to go.

mobile adoption statistics

Image: BuiltWith. Adoption is happening quickly, but keep your eyes on the y-axis totals…

 

Google provides a handy Mobile Friendly Tool Test so you can check if your site is ready.

mobile_ready_website

Hubspot’s Marketing Grader and ready.mobi also provide free tools to identify websites with outdated technology and non-mobile-friendly layouts.

These tools are positioned for evaluating individual websites but they can also be valuable tools for lead generation.

It can be a challenge to scan through websites and locate contact information at scale, but once you have this data you can feed all these potential customers into your marketing or sales funnels.

Conclusion

Google will roll out their update over the course of a few weeks, so the changes might not be noticeable immediately.

“If you’re not mobile friendly today, you can take action and Google will notice,” says Barry Schwartz, an editor of the SearchEngineLand website. “You’ll get your ranking back rather quickly, once you become mobile friendly.” Once a site is updated, it is easy to have Google re-index it.

Now is the time to capitalize. There are millions of sites with non-mobile-friendly pages that are on the brink of a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search.

Changes to Google’s mobile algorithm make website updates necessary and inevitable. The only question is, who will get to the businesses who desperately need them first?


 

Need to find businesses that haven’t yet optimized for mobile? Find targeted lists of Mobilegeddon leads here.