#Mobilegeddon: Did You Survive?

Hello and happy Earth Day 2015, FOT Nation! I assume if you’re reading this that you are alive and well post Mobilegeddon—but is your career site’s search ranking?

If you missed the hoopla in the Twittersphere yesterday, and the doomsday-prepper blog posts in the last few weeks, here’s the Q+D from PCWorld:

It’s a shift so potentially fraught with peril for those who aren’t ready that it’s being called “Mobilegeddon.” Essentially, Google is expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal when it compiles search results. Sites that are mobile-friendly will be ranked higher in search results; those that aren’t will suffer.

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The first announcement for the change was this past February and outlined what would be considered “mobile friendliness” when deciding on where to rank websites in search results from, starting on April 21. Google warned at the time that the change would have a “significant impact” on search rankings—especially given that roughly half of Google searches are conducted from a mobile device. To help companies prepare, Google released a guide to mobile-friendly sites and a testing tool to assess a site’s current state of mobile-friendliness.

Google’s motive behind the shift is to “find content that’s not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens”—which I feel is a much needed push. Companies have been dragging their feet on mobile, and Google basically dropped a “shape up or ship out” bomb yesterday.

Not buying what the mobile doomsdayers are selling? Consider this: Last year when Google rolled out the 4.0 Panda ranking, eBay lost an estimated 80% of its top search results.

So, what does Mobilegeddon mean for you?

If your company passed the test and your careers site is built on the same exact platform… nothing! You are golden (for now).

If your company is using a 3rd party platform—TalentBrew, TalentReef, Smashfly, etc.—to make your career site mobile friendly, you’re in the clear. However, it’s recommended that you discuss cleaning up and compressing content files to ensure efficiency and speed in display for the best user experience.

If your company’s career site did not pass the test, you have a few actionable options:

  • Determine if the consumer side of the house prepared for Mobilegeddon. If they did not, contact your webmaster or marketing team and figure out if there is a plan baking to get your company with the program overall.
  • If your consumer site passed the test, but your careers site is built on a non-mobile microsite, speak with your webmaster about upgrading to one of Google’s three preferred mobile configurations: Responsive Web Design, Dynamic Serving and Separate URLs. My recommendation, and Google’s preference, is Responsive Web Design.
  • If your consumer team took care of their side of the house but isn’t up to taking care of your side, start vetting third-party vendors and securing budget to support mobile development now. Google represents 2/3 of all search engine traffic, and 80 percent of job seekers expect to be able to search for jobs easily from a smartphone—the business case is there.

We won’t know the full impact of Google’s shift in ranking algorithm until it is up and running in full, but what we have learned from Mobilegeddon thus far, is that staying on top of mobile needs to be a priority.

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Holland Dombeck McCue
Holland Dombeck McCue is the former the Editor turned blogger here at Fistful of Talent. She joined the group in August of 2011 and launched FOT's podcast, The CYA Report, and monthly webinar series. Now she gets to participate in all the HR/talent pundit fun. Check her out on Twitter via @Holland_Dombeck.

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