Google Algorithm Update will Prioritize Mobile Websites in Search

Google recently announced that they will be using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in driving search results to users, beginning this April.

In the announcement, Google’s Webmaster Central Blog stated:

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

That means mobile-friendly and mobile-responsive sites will earn better positioning in Google’s mobile search engine results, and sites that are not optimized for mobile will see less mobile, organic traffic.

This all makes sense. More and more people access the web on mobile devices, and it’s Google’s job to return to you what is user-friendly and relevant, or you won’t come back. The problem is, this will impact small local business owners the most, as many don’t have marketing departments or budgets to create responsive web sites, yet many of their customers rely on Google search to find local services. Google does aim to provide many robust resources to help developers prepare and optimize websites. You can even test if a site is mobile ready according to Google.

Google has been recommending responsive web design for years now, but this is the first time they have officially announced that it will have an impact on search as a result.

Originally posted here.

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bye black friday. xoxo

Does the most wonderful time of the year begin in September?
I must have missed the memo. Sure enough, I was in Macy’s the last week of September listening to “Winter Wonderland” pour out of the retail giant’s speakers and watching kids write letters to Santa. I’ll admit, this did make me think about my upcoming holiday shopping list (Macy’s-1, Hannah-0). As thoughts of what to buy my friends and family began to swirl around in my head I stopped to think: are stores showing us Christmas trees in September to pressure us to buy early in-store versus shopping online?

This may be the case. 72% of adults in the US  purchased products and services online, spending an average of $292 over a 3-month period according to a Nielson Online Survey released this month. Online retail is growing 13% year over year, and in 2010, about half of all retail purchases were researched online beforehand (Forrester Online Retail reports).  Online retailers are also making things easier than ever for us to ditch the lines and chaos of Black Friday. With Amazon’s “1-click to buy” feature and their new Flow iPhone app  – which combines augmented reality and e-commerce –  it becomes more convenient for consumers to buy right then and there after researching product reviews.

Last year, I did all of my holiday shopping online.  I used multiple Groupons, promo codes, and Amazon Prime.  Amazon Prime is a Godsend to busy professionals and lazy people alike: 2-day shipping is free, and you can buy everything from kitchen appliances to makeup to groceries.

I won’t step foot in a mall again this year. I”ll create a holiday gift  list in a Google Doc, and use Amazon Prime to research, buy and deliver all of my gifts safe, sound, and gift-wrapped.