• Pledging Fraternity
    Pledging Fraternity Thoughts from Chris Carter, Director of Communications of Sigma Pi Fraternity, International

This article originally ran on CNN Money at this link: http://money.cnn.com/2015/04/21/technology/google-mobilegeddon/index.html

Mobilegeddon is upon us.

Google released sweeping changes to its search algorithm on Tuesday, giving mobile-friendly websites a boost on smartphones. In its mobile search results, Google (GOOGL, Tech30) now favors websites that adjust for smaller screens.

It seems like an obvious tweak, but it has website operators scrambling to keep their sites listed high up in the search rankings. As with all Google algorithm tweaks, some will benefit, and others will lose out.

Here's everything you need to know about Google's changes, which some have labeled "Mobilegeddon."

1. Only smartphones impacted. Google's search results on desktop and tablets will be unaffected by the new algorithm. But it's still a big impact. Mobile makes up about half of all Google searches.

2. Website operators had two months to prepare. Usually, Google doesn't pre-announce algorithm tweaks. But Mobilegeddon could have such a dramatic impact on mobile search results that Google opted to give businesses time to get ready.

In February, the search company released a "mobile-friendly" test, which allows websites to see whether their sites are ready for the algorithm tweak. Mobile websites with unplayable videos, slow mobile pages and blocked image files will get knocked down a peg.

3. Algorithm changes can be nasty. Many businesses rely heavily on Google to send traffic to their websites. Google controls two-thirds of the U.S. search market, and when Google changes its code, companies have to scramble to relearn how to optimize their sites for Google's search.

The stakes are high. The top spot on a search page typically attracts 20% to 30% of the page's clicks, according to Adam Bunn, SEO director of digital marketing agency Greenlight. After that comes an enormous tail-off: Positions two to three generate 5% to 10% of the clicks, and links below that receive less than 1% of users' attention.

In 2011, a major Google algorithm change designed to promote high-quality content sent some companies into financial ruin. Two weeks after the changes, Mahalo.com laid off 10% of its workforce thanks to what CEO Jason Calacanis called "a significant dip in our traffic and revenue."

4. Websites can adjust on the fly. Unlike previous algorithm tweaks, websites can upgrade their "mobile-friendliness" at any time to appear higher in Google's search results -- it doesn't have to be done on Tuesday.
Google also said that the algorithm tweaks will be rolled out over the course of a few weeks, so the changes might not immediately be noticeable anyway.

5. Some mobile-unfriendly sites could still get favorable search placement. Google's algorithm judges sites based on numerous criteria, of which mobile-friendlness is just one. The company's aim is to provide the most relevant results, even if it's to a site that isn't optimized for mobile.


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The Executive Office staff of Sigma Pi Fraternity, International took some time on Tuesday, December 9, 2014, to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity at their ReStore location in Lebanon, Tenn.

According to their website, Habitat for Humanity ReStores “are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price.  Habitat for Humanity ReStores are proudly owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and proceeds are used to build homes, community, and hope locally and around the world.”

"Community service is a big part of being a member of Sigma Pi," said Executive Director Michael Ayalon (Epsilon-Omicron, Buffalo ’97). "Through our volunteer involvement in Habitat for Humanity, we have a greater appreciation of the blessings we have in life, a stronger connection to the Lebanon community, and a stronger desire to help others. We look forward to even more opportunities to serve."

In all, 17 members of the Executive Office staff volunteered three hours each, totaling 51 total hours of service.

Kim Schick, Wilson ReStore Manager, had this to say about the efforts of the Executive Office Staff: “To all the wonderful volunteers at Sigma Pi that helped us move over 500 extremely heavy doors; your group did more in one day then what we could have done in 3 months!  We have been selling these doors like crazy, now that the public has access to them.  It was as if we won the lottery the day Mr. Ayalon called and said there was a group of fraternity members and staff that wanted to volunteer here.  All of us here were thanking God that day.  Honestly, we had no idea what we would have done without all of your efforts.  Thank you, thank you, thank you; we are so fortunate to have you in our community.”

For more information about Habitat for Humanity ReStore, visit their website at www.habitat.org/restores.

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About Chris Carter

Chris CarterChris Carter serves as Director of Communications of Sigma Pi Fraternity, International. Founded in 1897, Sigma Pi Fraternity is the leading, international men's collegiate fraternal organization which provides training, guidance and innovative opportunities for Leadership Development, Social and Personal Development, Academic Achievement, Community Service and Heightened Moral Awareness for its brothers throughout their lives.

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Tel: 615.921.2300

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