Mobile and PandaEver since Google’s Panda first “broke” the internet in 2011, the Google search engine algorithm has continued to make waves. With an initial goal to improve search engine results by filtering out low value websites, Panda met its mark nearly instantly, affecting an estimated 12 percent of all website listings and even earning itself a spot in TEDx2011 talks.

Why Panda Refresh? Why Now?
As Panda continues its wave-making, there is a new update called “Panda Refresh” on the horizon. It has actually been on the horizon since late April, but has yet to make its grand entrance.

Speaking of the Panda Refresh in 2105, according to Google’s Gary Illyes, the latest timeline indicates the update will roll out live at the end of June 2015. But since Google has been offering up estimated timelines since April, it literally could pop out any day now!

The update in April 21st dubbed “Mobilegeddon” had an underlying – if understated – goal is not so much altruistic as it is purely financial. Over the last several years, Google has been steadily losing advertising income, primarily because advertisers haven’t been willing to pay for pricey ads designed for smaller screens.

This ended up being a big whoops for those advertisers for two reasons: one, because clearly smaller screens are where more customers are now looking at ads today, and two, because when Google starts to lose money, they quickly change things up in their favor so they can make up the difference!

Why is this so important? In a recent report, NBC News highlighted a startling statistic. As of May 2015, there are more Google searches being conducted on smart phones than on personal computers! The report traced this trend back to 2007, which was … wait for it … the year Apple first released the iPhone.

Also, these same advertisers have now begun to see the light at the end of the tunnel as Google has demonstrated new ad layouts that serve as advertising multi-taskers – such as ads that let customers book rooms while viewing an ad for a hotel chain, or ads that let customers swipe across their screen to do a quick-and-dirty comparison right on the spot.

How Companies are Preparing for Panda Refresh
The Panda Refresh update has been coming for some time now….in fact, rumors of its launch began to “leak” as far back as late last year. However, many busy companies that were dealing with the holiday rush and the lucrative sales that followed didn’t have either the time or the inclination to redesign their website at their most active sales period annually. And this was a smart move!

But now the Panda Refresh update IS coming in earnest, whether it happens tomorrow, next month, or (once again) during the busy holiday season. When it does arrive, it is likely to have an instant impact, just as Panda 2011 did when 12 percent of websites just dropped off the search engine results radar practically overnight.

So now is the time to prepare for the Panda Refresh in 2015 –  before the fall arrives and everyone gets consumed by back-to-school and holiday promotions and sales and pre-scheduled online advertising and social media events. Now is the absolute right time to also re-evaluate how your website stacks up to your competition in terms of being friendly for mobile searchers and purchasers.

For most companies, this will also mean making a hard choice: to divert existing busy IT staff to the Panda Refresh issue or hire an SEO consultant to do complete a search engine optimization (SEO) audit, make recommendations and then put those recommendations into action.

Why Hire Jenn Mathews Consulting to Do Your SEO Audit?
Jenn Mathews, founder of Jenn Mathews Consulting, aka the SEOGoddess, has 15 years of experience in SEO. Her resume includes overseeing SEO and online strategy in-house for, Concur and ADP, and startups Smartsheet and Vertafore among hundreds of clients throughout the years.

Jenn Mathews is also a Google Adwords consultant with many years of expertise in managing search engine marketing (SEM) and pay per click (PPC) advertising budgets for small and large companies. She has the knowledge and contacts at Google to ensure your website is “Google Panda Refresh-friendly” and that any web-based advertising campaign you roll out in the future will be able to maximize the use of Google’s new mobile-friendly ad layouts. Get started on your SEO Audit, your Adwords Campaigns, or  new website that is mobile friendly today!

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About the Author: Jennifer Mathews