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Today is the day! Google is releasing its newest algorithm update that will potentially give a ranking boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results, and push outdated pages to the back of the line.  If you haven’t updated your website in a while, here’s what you need to know before you jump on it:

  • Depth of impact –The update doesn’t impact desktop searches, just tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices.  However, most of us own a smartphone and use it for search, which makes being mobile-friendly a top priority for all businesses who haven’t moved their websites to a responsive platform. Google tells us that it will be more significant than both the Panda and Penguin algorithms updates – and both of those were updates of consequence.
  • Webpages, not websites – The mobile-friendly algorithm is on a page-by-page basis. So, as you begin to update your website to a responsive platform, you’ll notice that mobile-friendly pages will rank better.
  • Real-time update – This is a real-time update, unlike the previous delayed updates from Google – reason why April 21 was congenially dubbed “Mobilegeddon”!
  • AdWords won’t be impacted – The update will only impact your organic listings, not your paid ads.  In other words, if your website is very outdated and it will take you a bit to update it, you could still invest in AdWords to make sure your mobile searchers will find you.

According to Matt McGee, editor-in-chief of Search Engine Land, this algorithm update is probably the most significant change that Google has ever made to its mobile search rankings, and shouldn’t be taken lightly by small businesses. Most big companies have mobile websites that are compatible with Google’s new formula.  The big hit will be on small businesses that are lacking money or other resources to update their websites.

So, here’s my 2015 marketing advice for all small businesses: find money and resources to move your website to a responsive platform or you’ll see a drastic decrease in web visits, which could have a significant impact on your revenue.

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