Google pushes providers to ‘look good’

Friday, May 15, 2015

YARMOUTH, Maine – It’s so big it’s been dubbed “Mobilegeddon,” but what does Google’s recent decision to favor mobile-friendly websites mean for HME providers?

Google on April 21 tweaked its search algorithm to make mobile-friendly websites rank higher in mobile search results.

“It’s not going to be OK any more to have a large website that looks bad on a mobile device,” said Justin Racine, marketing and e-commerce manager at Woburn, Mass.-based Geriatric Medical, which recently made its website mobile friendly. “If it doesn’t look good, you are going to drop significantly in the rankings.”

Nearly 70% of all web searches are done through Google and half of those searches are done using a mobile device. Add to that that 65% of people are now using smart phones and it’s clear providers need to take a hard look at their websites, says Warren Freeman, vice president of business development for VGM Forbin.

Now, when someone uses a mobile device to search for “CPAP in Nashville,” Google will prioritize the websites with the best content and the best experience.

“It’s the experience that’s at the heart of all this and Google is king at that,” Freeman said.

Providers whose websites aren’t mobile-friendly don’t need to panic. The algorithm only impacts searches done with a phone, not a tablet or computer.

“But, if someone is thinking they need to update their website because it’s been awhile, it’s a good time to do it,” Racine said. “The mobile aspect can be a huge advantage for HME providers if they tailor their content toward it.”

Indeed, “Mobilegeddon” might be the push that shoves providers to update their websites.

“We really believe that Google is going to continue to push people this way,” Freeman said.