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Indian SMBs happy with Google’s mobile friendly algorithm

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Sonal Desai
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SMBs on mobile

MUMBAI, INDIA: A recent joke goes like this: 67 percent of Americans surveyed said they own a smart phone. In a related survey, 100 percent of smart phones said they own an American. The same is happening in India where users increasingly want their smart phones to run their lives.

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Contextually, while it will take time for the large enterprises to gauge the impact on their business after Google changed its algorithm in favor of mobile friendly websites, start-ups and e-commerce set-ups in the country, have welcome the move.

They believe that the development is a natural progression for not only Google, but for anyone who has presence on the Internet.

What are the changes?

The changes mean that Google will propel sites that display well on mobile devices in mobile search results, and downgrade those that do not.

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The tweaks mark the biggest change to Google’s algorithm since Panda and Penguin, which respectively judged sites according to quality and linking practices.

The company has warned the latest will would have a significant impact on rankings, leading some search experts to refer to the changes as Mobilegeddon.

Why is it important for India?

The mobile population is growing leaps and bounds in India. Having a mobile-compatible Web-presence will be therefore essential for any brand in near future. Google, being the leader in Web-search is staying ahead of the curve and is pushing for this agenda to give its increasing number of mobile visitors a better experience. Anyone who is dependent on organic search traffic needs to embrace this, point out the CXOs interviewed for the story.

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Are we prepared?

Google had shared the roadmap as early as 2015. And some avid Google followers like Limesh Parekh, CEO of Bhilad-based Enjay IT Solutions had started preparing for the change, and has seen some positive impact on his business.

Recounts Parekh, “Soon after learning about the change in Google’s strategy, we too made some changes in our website, re-coded some software, and have made our portal mobile ready. Since the new algorithm does not recognize the URL of a website, we focused hard on relevant keywords and content, and today Enjay pops-up in the first page of Google for keywords such as Tally on Cloud, thin clients or Tiguin OS.”

Manu Grover, Founder, Healthgenie.in, accords, “We have been committed to offering the best experience to our online visitors. Our website therefore was planned to serve to mobile users as well as desktop users.  We have consistently grown in Google rankings, and will hopefully continue to do so, as the guiding principles are in sync with those of Google– of putting the user first, and being future ready.”

Says Satya Prabhakar, Founder & CEO, Sulekha.com, “For a lot of digital media businesses, the dependence on Google, no matter how much we chafe, is quite high. We have a dedicated team that identifies upcoming algorithm changes and seeks to prepare for it.”

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What is the impact?

As a result or early preparedness, Enjay has seen a 25 percent hike in the queries. “Compared to earlier, when we dispatched 3 emails each week, we are now sending only one email, that too about new product updates,” he informs.

According to Sridhar Iyengar, Vice President, ManageEngine, “One direct impact is a company's website being ranked lower if it is not mobile friendly, which will eventually affect the business that comes from Google searches. This change is forcing companies to design their websites for mobile-friendliness to maintain higher Google's page rankings. The tremendous spike in mobile traffic in the recent past is the driving factor for Google's change. Our websites have always been mobile friendly and all of our products have mobile apps."

Prabhakar is also hopeful of a positive impact. He points out, “Sulekha.com enjoys one of the highest search rankings in its categories as we have sought to proactively respond to the changes. We will invest heavily to improve our mobile experience.”

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“The impact should be positive, given we work hard to keep up and remain in front of the technology adoption curve. There are good reasons why FlipKart and SnapDeal want to go Only mobile,” points out Mitesh Makwana, Co-Founder, MMindCorp.

Conclusion:

In addition to changing its algorithms in favor of mobile users, Google will also have to look at how it serves search to mobiles, and in a more customized manner, for example, page size optimization for mobile search results.

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