July 09, 2013

Majority of Companies Unprepared for Google's Mobile SEO Storm

“You really need to be thinking about mobile,” was the statement heard around the world at a recent SMX Advanced Conference in Seattle. That’s because recently Google threw another curve ball to marketers, stating that the search engine giant plans to introduce more algorithm changes, which will penalize websites that are not optimized for mobile phones.

If “encouraging” businesses to ramp up their mobile SEO wasn’t enough, the tech mogul is also planning to roll out a number of ranking changes that address sites that are “misconfigured for smartphone users,” a recent post on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog revealed.

Just as businesses started to recover from the Penguin 2.0 algorithm blow—an algorithm update that affected 2.3% of English search queries—they now they have to worry about optimizing their websites for mobile use. But after businesses stop condemning the Google Gods, they will realize that the search engine master could be onto something. After all, 80 percent of the world’s population has gone mobile. In the United States alone there are 91.4 million smartphones, so Google’s new “encouragement” is not only a smart move, but a necessary one.

So just how many companies have sites that comply with Google’s new mobile requirements? The numbers might shock you.

Recently, mobile marketing agency Pure Oxygen Labs looked at the mobile SEO of the top 100 Fortune 500 companies. According to the study, only six percent of the companies’ websites lived up to Google’s new mobile requirements. These companies included Disney, GE, Humana, JP Morgan, HCA Healthcare and of course Google. Other key findings included:

  • 11 percent of the websites use “responsive” design techniques to draw customers
  • 56 percent provide content that’s fit for smartphone searchers
  • 45 percent have a mobile site

There are a number of factors that play into sites’ nonexistent mobile SEO such as a lack of formatting on home page, a lack of mobile pages and a lack of mobile site meta signals.

Just like the wrath of Penguin 2.0, Google’s new mobile SEO requirements are sure to damage businesses if ignored. Analysis predict that the changes will radically affect website ranking, mobile search visibility and mobile transactions.

So, what is your company doing to prepare for the SEO storm?

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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