LOS ANGELES — If your website traffic plummets suddenly Tuesday, you can blame it on “Mobilegeddon.”
Google, which dominates online search, is launching an algorithm to favor sites that are “mobile-friendly.” This means that people who use Google to search on their smartphone may not find many of their favorite sites at the top of the rankings. Sites that haven’t updated could find themselves ranked way lower, which in turn could mean a huge loss of business.
Search giant Google, which comScore Media Metrix estimates has a 65% market share of U.S. Internet searches, wants sites to load quickly and be easy to navigate on a mobile phone.
Google is doing this because it wants consumers to “find content that’s not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens,” Google said in a statement.
The update will not affect results from desktop searches.
Google’s last big algorithm update, code-named Panda, impacted “11% of all search results,” says Danny Sullivan, the editor of the SearchEngineLand website. “It was a big shake-up, and this one could be even more dramatic.”