Confession: I get an immense amount of enjoyment out of having a heated discussion with people (usually online) about the “death of SEO.”
There are many harpy prognosticators in the digital industry that like to scare you with the idea that “SEO is dying” and you really need to “stop focusing so much energy on it, and turn your attention to questionable tactics that are more likely to increase your organic traffic.”
These are clearly people with a limited range of human behavior and evolution… which is exactly what search engines – Google in particular – tell us to pay attention to.
• Build content that your audience is actively interested in, and do it in the form in which they want to consume it.
• If it’s good for the user, it will be good for the algorithm.
• Design your site so that it has a solid user experience and makes it easy to find and load the content they are seeking.
• Make sure your site is mobile-friendly.
These are all things we know. But that last one just became aggressively more critical to your SEO and content strategy.
According to sources, including Search Engine Land, Google began sending “usability warnings” to webmasters and site owners. The purpose of these warnings is speculated to be preparation for the online world. If your site doesn’t render or allow for easy user engagement in the mobile environment, prepare to be limited in your organic search visibility.
In other words: ALGORITHM CHANGE (probably) COMING SOON!
Seeing word of this warning from the engine had me looking into IMI’s situation for “mobile-friendliness”…
Looks like we’re in the clear. (Phew!)
And when I look into the other pages (our various digital assets) ranking around our brand…
They’re all mostly “mobile-friendly” as well.
Here’s What You Should Do
Knowing that this algorithm change is potentially being rolled out, here is what IMI recommends:
1. Check your Webmaster Tools account. If your site has a problematic mobile experience, they may have already keyed you in on the problem – and even which pages on your site are the biggest issues.
2. Search for your brand on Google on a mobile browser. Check to see if it is listed as “Mobile-friendly” in the search results.
3. Utilize the tools Google has created to test for these potential problems:
a. “Mobile Friendly” URL Tester
b. Mobile Usability Reports
4. Ask your IMI SEO Strategist to look at it for you. (Though, they are likely already on top of it.) If you don’t and have an IMI SEO Strategist because you currently are not engaged with us on SEO, you should reach out to us to have a conversation about how we can help you with your online goals, and with a mobile SEO and content strategy.
Keep in mind: All of this is speculation as to whether or not it will impact a site’s organic visibility. However, the signs are in place to suggest that this algorithm change will be happening in the near future.