Google is about to embark on a major algorithm change which could leave businesses who have yet to adapt to mobile see their customer base shrink overnight.
Billed as “mobilegeddon” in some quarters, the search engine will tomorrow start to roll out what is expected to be the biggest change to its search results in years, with a focus on only showing websites it considers mobile friendly to users on smartphones.
Whenever Google changes things, it is inevitable there will be some big losers in the business world – especially when the notoriously vague company itself says this update will have a “significant impact”.
In a recent adjustment of this type, the “Panda 4.0” update of May 2014, yellowpages.com was estimated to have lost 20 per cent of its visibility in search – which would equate to a major dip in visitors to the site.
And judging by the results of the tool Google circulated for websites to check their status ahead of the change, there are a number of big names who could be set to lose out in a similar way.
Among the sites deemed not mobile friendly are Next and Ryanair, both of which are said to have links too close together and content wider than a normal mobile screen, while there are even big names in the publisher world affected with the MailOnline homepage and BBC’s archive stories not coming up to scratch.
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