IFAs 21st April Mobilegeddon

We reported earlier this year (See article) Google's announcement of using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal from April 21, 2015.

April 21 is less than a week away and because of the potential impact Google's change could have, the date is now being referenced as “Mobilegeddon”. Google may have announced the update early, but it hasn't been forthcoming until more recently with details.

Time to Panic?

We don't think so.

IFA Web Pro have been writing all their sites responsively for quite some time. Though we do have one or two older sites that aren't responsive which we're working through and if you have one don't worry we will be getting round to you.

From 21st April Google will boost mobile friendly websites at page level for mobile enquiries only (not tablets). It won't effect you as much as you think. IFAs and Financial Planners have a low number of clients using phones accessing your sites and you're more often than not being searched for by your brand (which won't be effected).

*Statistically the vast majority of clients that have been looking for IFAs and Financial Planners have been using desktops and tablets and not phones.

*We've been closely monitoring our clients' statistics and there is a trend towards mobile sites, albeit very slow. Within the last year the percentage of mobile devices used to access a sample of our clients' sites has risen from 1% to between 5% and 6%.

Things to note

  • Mobile devices NOT desktops
  • Tablets will not be affected by this update
  • Mobile friendliness is determined at the page level - not sitewide
  • Google says that a responsive site is better than a mobile only version (though no ranking difference)
  • These changes only effect organic search results on mobile devices, paid search campaigns will not be affected
  • Don't worry if you miss the deadline, Google will re-crawl your site
  • This change is just one of hundreds of ranking factors

Google is promoting websites that are mobile friendly rather than penalising those that aren't. So even if you don't have a mobile or responsive site by 21st April (or later as it will take a couple of weeks to roll out), you can improve your ranking in mobile searches when you do.

Summing up

Based on our statistics: the percentage of clients accessing adviser websites using mobile devices (not tablets) is only between 5% and 6%. This will have a minimal effect on Google ranking since it's a low number and also most searches are brand based.

Accessing websites with a mobile device (even adviser ones who have an older demographic) is a growing trend. However few there are, you want to give your clients the best experience. We feel it's important to be moving working towards a mobile site, but not panicking about the “Mobilegeddon” deadline taking place from April 21st.

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