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Google’s mobile-friendly search algorithm: What’s it all about?

June 5, 2015
By Mark Bilek, general manager 
A month ago, search giant Google unleashed a new search algorithm designed to improve web searches on mobile devices. Commonly referred to as Mobilegeddon, the search change hasn’t had much of a negative impact on auto dealers.
The change was aimed at significantly altering the mobile search results to give preference to mobile-ready web sites over non mobile-ready web sites. That meant that if your business didn’t have a mobile friendly website, its search ranking would be lowered. 
Most dealers have websites that are mobile friendly, so in many cases search results actually improved. Also, the change didn’t affect long-tail searches like, "Arlington Heights Ford." That’s because Google is still going to list a business first when it’s a proper name. Finally, most dealers don’t rank on the first page of Google for vehicle listings in generic searches like "Ford Escape." So, the mobile search change wouldn’t have affected a dealer listing. 
The webmaster community, as a whole, hasn’t been too impressed with the level of significance in the mobile results. Meaning, most are not noticing significant changes to the mobile search rankings yet. 
Still, the important takeaway from all this is that dealers must have a mobile-friendly website. Nearly 50 percent of all Web traffic now comes from mobile devices and that number skews higher each month. If your dealership website doesn’t display properly on a phone or tablet, you are losing online customers to your competitors.