Businesses have expressed their fears after this week's decision by Google to change its search engine algorithm to favour mobile-friendly websites. As Anastasia Gorelova reports some have been hit before by similar Google moves.
ATTN CLIENTS - RESENT WITH NATURAL SOUND - APOLOGIES Jenny Hurren likes to think outside the box. She has big plans for her small business selling mirrored furniture. All sales from her niche company - Out There Interiors - are done online. That makes the latest algorithm changes introduced by Google a real worry. SOUNDBITE (English) JENNY HURREN, OWNER OF ONLINE FURNITURE RETAILER OUT THERE INTERIOUS, SAYING: "We do have a small display area, but predominantly all our customers come, they find us on the internet. Not all, but a large proportion find us on the internet, through the Google search." From this week the search engine is favouring sites that are more mobile friendly. And it's not the first time Google's caused algorithm pain to small businesses. SOUNDBITE (English) JENNY HURREN, OWNER OF ONLINE FURNITURE RETAILER OUT THERE INTERIOUS, SAYING: "There were two changes "Panda" and "Penguin" within the space of the two years and it basically attacked everything that we have done on our SEO front. We didn't realise that what we were doing was not legitimate. But we didn't realise that Google didn't like it. And when they made a change, it hit us very hard. We lost our positions overnight." Jenny's made sure her now 8-year-old award-winning business no longer relies solely on Google. She does her own PR and works with other companies. She's also aware that Google is simply trying to keep up with the trend for shopping from mobile devices. Simon Heyes is an industry expert from 8MS. SOUNDBITE (English) SIMON HEYES, STRATEGY DIRECTOR AT 8 MILLION STORIES (8MS), SAYING: "Brands that only have a small percentage of traffic that comes from mobile, you know, the impact probably won't be a lot for them, but for brands and businesses that rely heavily on mobile traffic and they are not ready for this mobile update, they'll be impacted the greatest." It's not just small companies which could suffer from Google's so-called Mobilegeddon. Numerous big names have been identified as having websites which aren't mobile friendly enough. SOUNDBITE (English) JENNY HURREN, OWNER OF ONLINE FURNITURE RETAILER OUT THERE INTERIOUS, SAYING: "The scary thing about Google is that they've got so much power. They can flick a switch and they can destroy people's livelihoods without any thought whatsoever." For now Google searches from non-mobile devices will remain the same. But the internet is a rapidly changing world - and Google will no doubt keep reflecting the latest trends.