Google recently announced an update that will affect search, SEO, and marketing professionals. Starting April 21st, if you want your website to rank well in Google’s mobile search results, it must be mobile friendly. It was just a matter of time, but this is still huge news. The new mobile friendly algorithm will impact more sites than their Panda or Penguin algorithms.
With the update, Google states “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices”.
In addition to having a worldwide effect, the algorithm will be applied page by page and on a real-time basis. This means that each page is judged independently, and if mobile friendly, you can expect to see the mobile ranking benefit immediately. This is great news, because the next time Google crawls your website and determines some pages are mobile friendly, the ranking would only kick in for those pages and not penalize your entire site.
It’s important to remember that the update affects mobile search results only – searches from tablets and smartphones – not searches conducted from a laptop or desktop computer. Beware though; smartphones are growing in web traffic dominance. The majority of searches now take place from our smartphones.
Last year, Google released recommendations for mobile friendly sites; this allows you to test your mobile site using Google Testing Tool. If you have a site you can always use Webmaster Tools and their Mobile Usability Report to get a complete list of mobile usability issues across your site.
This should come as no surprise that Google made this move. They’re trying to improve search experiences and eliminate searchers ending up at pages where everything is so tiny you can’t click anything without zooming, pinching, and scrolling.
The big takeaway is that if your site isn’t mobile friendly, you now have motivation to update it. If you have any questions on mobile friendly websites or how to test your site, contact Seamgen, we’re always happy to help.