Rare Disease Report

Google's Search Algorithm Change Could Negatively Impact Registry Programs

MAY 07, 2015

If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you will drop in Google search results

Google’s recent announcement that they are changing their search engine ranking algorithm to include whether a website is mobile friendly could negatively impact long running patient registry programs and advocacy websites. Currently, 75% of all web searches are performed with Google, and more queries to Google are performed from mobile devices than personal computers (PCs). So it makes sense that Google would rank websites that are optimized for use on mobile devices higher than websites that are best used on a PC. However, this change could leave long standing patient registries and advocacy websites behind because patients will have trouble locating the websites in Google searches.

The PatientCrossoads CONNECT registry platform uses responsive web design and is optimized for mobile device use so our registry programs are returned high in Google search rankings. But if you have built your own registry or use other registry platforms, you run the risk of dropping in Google search results in the future. This could negatively impact your ability to recruit patients for your registry programs. Likewise, if your advocacy organization website is not optimized for mobile devices, your organization runs the risk of dropping in Google search results.
Redesigning an existing website to be optimized for mobile use could take months to complete and be very expensive. Another option for advocacy groups is to convert to a free website builder like Wix.com which provides easy to use tools to build and host very visually appealing, mobile friendly websites. Converting an existing advocacy website to Wix or similar program would have the benefit of providing a facelift for your website, while simultaneously ensuring you stay at the top of Google search results.
Google has provided a tool to measure whether your website is mobile friendly. If you currently have a registry or website that is not mobile friendly, you should work with your technology folks to understand what it would take to become mobile enabled. Otherwise you will run the risk of becoming invisible to your patient population.

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