Newsletter #164 When Google Says Jump
When I read an article recently about how Google was going to penalise mobile-unfriendly sites it struck me how all-powerful Google now is. A single pronouncement on a blog for developers sent Web owners all around the world scurrying to their advisors asking hopefully: 'Is our site mobile-responsive?'.
Google officially announced that from April 21 it will be using 'mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal'. Translation: If your site is mobile-friendly it will rank higher in searches made on mobile devices than sites that are not. To test the mobile-friendliness (according to Google) of your site go here.
You might think Apple, Facebook and maybe even Amazon are the titans of the Internet Age but they all cower beneath the colossus that is Google. Only Google can affect so many people just by tweaking their search algorithm:
- You as a searcher see different results
- As a Web site owner your rankings either go up or down
- If your business is on the Web then Google's little updates can break it
Not only does Google dominate search, the Chrome browser now is used by more than twice the number of Internet Explorer users (all versions), the next most popular. Other Google services are part of the fabric of the Web world as we know it: YouTube, GMail, Google Maps, Google Calendar, Blogger, Google Analytics and so on.
Many consider Google a monopoly and in fact the European Commission may be close to laying antitrust charges against the company. PayPal founder Peter Thiel knows that Google is a monopoly but thinks it's not a bad thing!
However you see it, have no doubt that if (all other things being equal) your Website IS mobile friendly and your competitors aren't, more people will see yours. Google has that sort of power.