Google Search Results to Favor Mobile-Friendly Sites

March 31, 2015 Daren Worcester

Google is known to make upwards of 500 search algorithm changes a year. Many of these updates are blips on the radar, merely database refreshes, but some have warranted nicknames such as Panda and Penguin because they’ve altered the landscape of inbound marketing and search engine optimization.

Mark your calendars for April 21, 2015. On this day Google is serving up its next major release, one that industry experts are predicting will have a greater influence on search referral traffic than the Panda and Penguin updates. So what’s all the fuss about?

Mobile.

According to Google’s official statement, “…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.”

It’s unusual for Google to provide notice on algorithm changes, especially two months ahead. This in itself is a strong indicator that Google is serious about the release having a “significant impact” on search results. It’s also no wonder why industry experts aren’t waiting for a cute-and-cuddly animal name from Google, dubbing the release “mobilegeddon.”

All of this is good news for Blackbaud’s K-12 schools with websites running on our onMessage content management system. Every onMessage website features responsive web design (RWD) that earns an “awesome” stamp of approval from Google’s mobile test.

Google's Mobile Friendly Test
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test

Like Google, Blackbaud K-12 foresaw the importance of displaying information in a format optimized for mobile devices. This is why onMessage and our other applications—onBoard, onCampus, and onRecord—feature native responsive functionality at no additional cost. When it comes to mobile friendliness, we’ve truly put our money where our mouth is, and our customers are about to reap unforeseen search benefits.

It’s impossible to predict exactly how much search referral traffic that private school websites stand to gain or lose from the April 21 release. Consider, though, that the top mobile search result receives an approximate click-through rate of 30 percent, and the fifth result earns about five percent of clicks, and it’s easy to see how even the smallest change will have a “significant impact.”

Is your school’s website prepared for mobilegeddon?

Please join us on April 30 at 2:00 p.m. ET for Google™’s Mobile Deadline: Why Your School Needs a Mobile-Friendly Website Now. We’ll discuss how you can tell if your site passes Google’s mobile test, and for school’s not using onMessage, what you can do if your site doesn’t pass.

Register for our Webinar!

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