How to Prepare for Google Algorithm Update

April 1, 2015

Google recently announced an algorithm update in a completely distinctive way – they actually gave a warning with the launch date of April 16, instead of making the changes and letting the world scramble to adapt. This was their announcement:

“Starting April 21, 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.”

Despite this early announcement, Google has kept many cards close to their chest, and avoided being too obliging with the details. We have done our best to analyse some of the details to give you an idea of what to expect for your website. We have also provided some thoughts on how to prepare for this update as a business. Read on to avoid the attack of the penguins, pandas and hummingbirds.

The Update:

The biggest takeaways from the announcement by Google are:

  • Responsive web design will affect your rank.
  • Google must be able to crawl CSS and Javascript.
  • Page level will be important to mobile search, not domain level.
  • Google is working on a dedicated mobile index for apps.


The question is, what do you do with this information? Mobile was always going to come into play eventually so, as a business, you need to choose how to become mobile friendly. Do you want to build a responsive website or a dedicated mobile site?

Mobile website


  • Better Mobile Experience
  • Simple to build
  • Economical
  • Higher conversion rates
  • Loads faster
  • Easy to navigate


  • Recurring maintenance on multiple websites
  • New linking strategy
  • – causes duplicate page content issues
  • Not adaptable to each different mobile display size

Responsive website


  • Google’s recommended solution
  • Adapts to every device – instructs each device on how to display correctly.
  • One link to one site
  • More cost-effective in the long term
  • No SEO beyond normal requirements
  • Low maintenance


  • More complicated
  • Higher upfront cost

Major Takeaways: Your website needs to be mobile friendly. Whether you choose a responsive or mobile website will depend on your goals and constraints as a company but either way it is time to choose to move into mobile.

You can test if your site is compatible here

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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