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Video Dealing with Google's 'Mobilegeddon' Algorithm Changes (Video) 88

'Mobilegeddon is here,' said one article I saw about SEO. Others have been similarly doom and gloom about Google's new emphasis on how well a site functions on mobile devices as a factor in search rankings. Brian Sutter, director of marketing for Wasp Barcode Technologies, lives and breathes this stuff -- and doesn't consider Google's algorithm change to be any sort of 'geddon.' He thinks you should be making a better mobile website because a growing percentage of your customers (and his) are viewing the WWW on mobile devices, not because of Google.

Brian's not interested in site design and visibility because his company does SEO or designs websites. Rather, it's because he, as Wasp's marketing guy, wants their site to sit high in Google's rankings if someone is looking for bar code printers or scanners, and he's happy to share what he's learned with Wasp's customers and anybody else who's interested as a goodwill thing. Maybe you aren't directly interested in operating a website or trying to make one popular, but knowing what's going on in the SEO world (for real, as opposed to the flummery often associated with the letters 'SEO') may help you deal with your company's marketing people -- and could be valuable knowledge if you ever decide to start your own business.

Slashdot: I’m Robin Miller for Slashdot, this is Brian Sutter from Wasp, an barcode company. But what we’re talking about is some thoughts he said lately about – they’re calling up mobile getting or mobile gen depending, I have heard it both ways – namely Google’s decree that if you do not have a good mobile website, you will not rank high in Google, so you must have a website, that is for mobile devices and a lot of us carry them nowadays, oh what's that, looks like an Android phone, my gosh. So, Bernie, how does a good or bad mobile website and Google ranking affect your business?

Brian Sutter : Yeah. Well, we’re seeing a large percent of our traffic go mobile, there is plenty of steps out there, one that I found that I would say 57% of users will not buy from a vendor if they don’t have a good mobile presence, should they find you that way. So it could directly affect your revenue and directly affect your leads which is what Wasp works on.

Slashdot: Okay. So that’s why you guys got interested in it. So, let me ask you another question as a mobile user, is it better to have just a good tight mobile website or to do one of those apps?

Brian: I prefer to be responsive, I recommend people that I talk to, just to get a responsive website. Most small businesses use a CMS platform like Wordpress. You go out there and you find a good template for that CMS system, you can have that implemented by a developer that you can hire on a contract basis to do that and you’re able to execute on this strategy here. The other thing I'd point out to people though, is while I’m a huge fan of what Google did here, the bigger reason why I’m a fan is not the traffic, it’s about focusing on the user, and user experience is everything nowadays, so you don’t want to do this just with the mind of I’m going to be able to go get more traffic which is a great thing, what I also want to do is serve my customer better, and the way I do that is by giving them a better experience when they are on my site however they choose to visit me.

Slashdot: I note that you do have a blog that’s not necessarily about Wasp,I applaud you, it gives people, your target audience, your target market a reason to hit the Wasp website over and over, and it’s a good blog. I read it.

Brian: Thank you, and you are exactly right. You know what we’re trying to do there just like with this interview here, is we love providing free information to help small businesses, not just about our products, but help them operate their business more – help them to be more profitable and make life easier, and we think that if we do that, they’ll think of us when it comes time to buy their next inventory control system.

Slashdot: And back to the mobile websites, how many of your clients or other companies you know, how many of them have good mobile websites?

Brian: How many of our clients? I would say the people I know, it's still pretty split. You know, there are still a lot of people that for whatever reason, projects internally, lack of resources, haven’t been able to adopt to the new responsive designs and a lot of people though I think got there little bit late, but they’re doing it. Now the important point here is, it's not about when you get there, whenever you do you will start performing better, so it’s not like something you still can’t catch up with.

Slashdot: And those customers of yours who have better performing websites will get more business and will spend more money with you, I hope.

Brian: That is so.


Slashdot: So Brian, you say that it’s better to have a good mobile website than to have your own app. Why is that?

Brian: One, because the platforms that we call a mobile app or a mobile presence... the platforms that they’re being played on are changing greatly, so whether you are talking about the Android device, and the different sizes they have there, tablets, or iPhones, I think over time that’s going to continue to change and you won’t have the flexibility to build your sites, so you've got to be flexible to whatever devices are predominant at that time.

Slashdot: So you are saying kind of, in a way, that having a good mobile website is future proofing?

Brian: Yes. And there is a lot of other stuff I believe done right, you can have a faster experience. I think [with a mobile website] you can do more A/B testing and I recommend all users to kind of do to some A/B testing to find the right formula for their audience.

Slashdot: Yes.

Brian: And bring some tips today for your audience, recommendations that I have for them, but there is a lot of basic things that a site can do once you get the good foundation to test against and have some significant gains in either sales or leads or whatever is important for that business.

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Dealing with Google's 'Mobilegeddon' Algorithm Changes (Video)

Comments Filter:
  • I thought we were putting videos down in that little bar thing. Also, which domain(s) do I enable to make Video Bytes work?

    • Answering my own question:

    • The domain is And it doesn't start playing by itself.

      • Thank The Maker! I support the videos taking up screen space and NOT auto starting. Still, this is one I may take the plunge (into my desk for !Beats Headphones) because of the subject matter. Nice they always have the trannys, well that didn't sound right. Nice of them to include a transcript in-line! (there we go)

  • NO! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gweilo8888 ( 921799 ) on Thursday June 04, 2015 @04:19PM (#49842077)
    NO VIDEO, SLASHDOT. Interviews are much better when read, not when I have to sit through a lengthy video to get the same information much more slowly with no visual benefit over just reading it myself.
    • Re:NO! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Roblimo ( 357 ) on Thursday June 04, 2015 @05:29PM (#49842853) Homepage Journal

      Tell you what: If you're real nice, we *may* consider not forcing you to watch videos on Slashdot. And it's entirely possible that (if you're nice) we'll supply transcripts of most videos so that you can read instead of watching. Deal? :)

      • Tell you what, if Slashdot gets any more videocentric, I'll just take my clicks elsewhere. I'm certainly not forced to watch anything, and indeed I don't watch Slashdot's videos. The transcript beneath, rather bizarrely hidden to try and get me to watch the video instead, told me I wasn't missing anything in all of about five seconds. ;-)
      • by Linnerd ( 150927 )

        Even though you've done all that work now, the mobile version of the page does not provide the transcription link!

        That's how you earn "google mobile-friendly points" and loose mobile users (not willing to spend bandwith on video).

        Is that what this is all about?

      • I can read interesting material much faster than I can listen to it on video, and I can differentiate between interesting and uninteresting material much MUCH faster reading it than slogging through a video. Transcripts aren't perfect, but at least they're a start.

      • I can moderate the comments.

        I begin to feel the need to moderate the submissions.
        If I were to ask you where the hell we were, would I regret it?

    • Search Engines try to find the most interesting pages that match queries from humans; they do this using robots running algorithms that model what humans might find interesting. "Search Engine Optimizers" try to model what search engine robots will do, and trick them into showing their customers' uninteresting web pages first instead of pages that humans will actually find interesting, because they want to sell you crap. (Doesn't matter if they're good at it, as long as their also-scum customers pay them.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Huh, I view WWI and WWII stuff on my mobile device, but WWW? World War 'W'? Help me out here - googling doesn't come up with anything and I didn't take much History or other humanities in school.

  • Can google not use a more dynamic ranking based off of the device viewing their site rather than putting the onus on each individual website?
    • That doesnt support Googles long term goals of its mobile platform delivering eyeballs to advertising throughout the entire universe.
    • Can google not use a more dynamic ranking based off of the device viewing their site rather than putting the onus on each individual website?

      The featured article on Searchmetrics states that it does: "The update impacts mobile search queries only – not desktop." This implies that Google applies desktop usability measure to ranking when viewed with a desktop UA and mobile usability measure to ranking when viewed with a mobile UA.

  • They're tanking search results for users ON A PC OR LAPTOP due to your mobile-friendliness. It's bullshit and it's forcing the internet to make an unnecessary change and waste money and/or time because they think the web should be more mobile-friendly. It's corrupt, stupid, unfair nonsense and the FTC, FCC, or Supreme Court will crush them when someone eventually files suit over this.
    Personally, my business opinion of my computer repair company's website is if they can't read it on a smartphone very well
    • Re:it is "a geddon" (Score:5, Interesting)

      by arglebargle_xiv ( 2212710 ) on Thursday June 04, 2015 @04:46PM (#49842383)

      They're tanking search results for users ON A PC OR LAPTOP due to your mobile-friendliness.

      Hey, forcing a mobile-phone interface onto an inherently desktop system worked so well for Microsoft in Windows 8 that I guess Google had to give it a go too,

      More seriously, this is beyond braindamaged. Our product is mainframe middleware. Exactly zero percent of our users access our site from a phone or tablet. However, Google now wants us to optimise it for a platform that none of our users will ever use, just because, hey, Google says so. Cretins.

    • They're tanking search results for users ON A PC OR LAPTOP due to your mobile-friendliness.

      What in the featured article states that? The Searchmetrics article points out that results for mobile searches and desktop searches use different ranking, and its statistics use change in desktop search ranking as a control group when determining the impact of the change in mobile search ranking.

  • Hey Google..... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Puls4r ( 724907 ) on Thursday June 04, 2015 @05:04PM (#49842613)
    We run a robotics team. This team is extremely well known, and the students pride themselves on writing a web page every year full of useful information. It was well-visited, and when you searched for the team name and number it was the top result.

    Now? Searching for the team brings up youtube. And vine. And twitter. And facebook. And other social media sites that the team uses. The team web page has been pushed to the SECOND PAGE of the search results, because the kids didn't build a mobile web page.

    You're breaking your own search engine for your business plan. What happened to 'do no evil'?
    • by athmanb ( 100367 )
      Are you doing your search on a desktop PC? If yes, the recently added mobile algorithm has no effect and it's all old-fashioned pagerank stuff. All your listed social media sites do their own very effective SEO and have lots of crosslinking so it's natural their results get up higher. If you want your website to show up higher start by adding links to it to all the social media pages and follow up with the other legal SEO tricks.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      The Google business plan is to try to make web sites usable on Android phones and close Apple's competitive advantage with the iPhone. I've never had a problem with an iPhone rendering a regular web page and making it easy for me to move around. Android, not so much.

    • Wait, there's more...Google has a page analyser that tells you what you need to do to tweak pages. I took one of my pages and was told the font was too small. So I jacked it up. Same "problem". So I jacked it up again, and again. I never got the "too small" message to go away. So, thanks, Google, you've installed an idiot filter. I don't want the idiots you will be sending to HuffPost mega picture click-fests.
    • by Trogre ( 513942 )

      What happened to 'do no evil'?

      DNE was replaced with IPO.

  • by koan ( 80826 )

    Brian's not interested in site design and visibility because his company does SEO or designs websites.

    So not interested in the 2 things his company specializes in?

  • Google should use different algorithms for different devices.
    • And let you choose to search with the browser version. Because often times I want to view the browser version of sites and no matter how many settings I tweak on my phone I still get their "mobile" aka useless version of the sites.
  • I really do not care about them at all on my page(s). I out content on there because it contains information, not meaningless entertainment. And I will do zero adjustments just because Google has a god-complex.

    As a side-note, I find Googles "search" to become less and less useful these days. I routinely find far more useful information by cross-links than any number of searches.

  • I tell clients they can pay for the mobile upgrade or suffer a loss of Google ranking. It's working out well so far.

  • Should everyone make their websites mobile-friendly? Of course. We should all be heavily invested in the user experience. But like so many things, we can't always do everything we should be doing. I'm sure you can think of a dozen or more projects at work that should be taken care of but you either don't have time or the resources to make them happen right now. Making a website mobile is great but for many companies it requires a huge investment in time and resources that they simply don't have. The Googl
    • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

      Should everyone make their websites mobile-friendly? Of course.

      One of the stores I visited a lot has now made their website 'mobile-friendly'. As a result, it's a steaming pile of monkey turds when used on anything else. Heck, it's probably a steaming pile of monkey turds when used on a phone, too.

      'Mobile friendly' is the worst thing to happen to the web since the blink tag.

  • ... illegal (a misdemeanor) to arm a geddon.

  • Because one thing is certain: I DO NOT want to waste my time on a "mobile optimized" page. These things look terrible in a normal browser. So, how many search results do I have to ignore before I get to the real links. And, more important, could anyone develop a plugin that discards those duds automatically?


    • Because one thing is certain: I DO NOT want to waste my time on a "mobile optimized" page. These things look terrible in a normal browser. So, how many search results do I have to ignore before I get to the real links.

      This. Jesus on a skateboard this. My site looks "okay" on a phone, but I'm sure as hell not going to design it for one. Too much data, and it is specifically designed for a decent sized screen, and will stay that way.

      If the concept of burying useful pages in a sea of bullshit advertising is a good idea, have at it Google. I regularly had had two pages of useless ads showing up (especially those cancerous msn.o pages that I have hostfiled out that you get sent to on the first fucing result, but only han

  • by Tom ( 822 )

    And what if my website isn't intended for a mobile audience at all? I'll readily admit I'm stuck 10 years in the past with my web design, but a few of my sites are intentionally not built for mobile because the content they have is not intended for mobile and if you told me you're using your phone to access the site, I'd get a puzzled look and say "but why?".

    Can I set a "X-intentionally-not-designed-for-mobile: true" header?

    • ... and if you told me you're using your phone to access the site, I'd get a puzzled look and say "but why?".

      Because the mobile device was the nearest available thing capable of browsing the web at the time I wanted to look at the content.

      The number of cases where there is a legitimate reason to not support mobile is very small.

      • by Tom ( 822 )

        Because the mobile device was the nearest available thing capable of browsing the web at the time I wanted to look at the content.

        I understand that.

        But I'm one guy running a website, not a company with budget for a web-designer. My content is now being punished not for its content, but for its presentation.

  • I'm reading about mobile usability on the Slashdot site whilst the adchoices popover advert is blowing up the Chrome mobile browser. I say its past time for the geddon.

"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." -- Albert Einstein