Mobile usability has been a factor in Google’s search algorithm for some time, with mobile-ready sites ranking higher than their non-optimized counterparts. But the preference has been limited.
But, starting April 21, that’s all going to change.
According to a recent Google blog post, a major algorithm change that will revolutionize the way mobile friendliness is determined.
Many of Google’s updates are just data refreshes that have little bearing on existing search rankings. However, the new mobile-friendly algorithm change will have more of an impact on search rankings than either Panda or Penguin, two of the largest and most impactful search algorithm updates Google has ever launched.
We do know that it will change the way Google evaluates the mobile-friendliness of websites, and it’s a reasonable assumption that the majority of non-optimized sites on the web could see significant decreases in search visibility.
Mobile search trends
It is estimated that more than 60 percent of all Google searches are now performed on mobile devices, so it’s reasonable that Google wants to capitalize on this traffic and ensure the best possible experience for its users and clear that the companies who cater to mobile users best will earn the most visibility from Google.
What you should do
If your site is already mobile-friendly, you shouldn’t have to worry. But, if your site is not mobile-optimised, it is now CRITICAL to get it done.
Make sure the mobile version of your site is active and works across the site. Whether your website is a responsive design, or you have a separate hosted mobile version of your site doesn’t matter to Google, so long as mobile users’ experience isn’t interrupted.
Make sure that Google’s mobile bots can crawl your site.
Google offers two tools you can use to check whether your site is mobile-friendly. First, you can use the appropriately named Mobile-Friendly Test to see whether your site meets the criteria. Google Webmaster Tools also has a Mobile Usability Report you can run to to see how Google sees your site. Any errors, and you have until April 21, 2015 to fix them!
The April 21 Google update is the biggest mobile-related algorithm change we’ve ever seen and if you don’t have a mobile version of your site in place by April 21, your search visibility could be seriously hindered. And your business could be seriously affected!
We are more than happy to offer you a free assessment of your website, as it relates to this pending change at Google. Please contact us with your web address and a contact number, and we’ll get straight on to it for you.