Are You Ready for Mobilegeddon?
In April, Google officially rolled out its “mobile-friendly” search ranking update. In short, this means that Google will now boost the rankings of what it considers to be “mobile-friendly” pages – and penalize pages that it does not – on its mobile search. The update is intended to reflect the rise of Internet access through mobile devices, which now constitute more than half of all Google searches. The update is expected to negatively affect many websites – popular industry blog TechCrunch found that 44 percent of Fortune 500 companies failed Google’s mobile-friendly test – and could impact revenues for those websites who do not meet the new mobile-friendly standards.
Let’s take a look at the basics of the new search update and what it means for your website.
What will change?
- The mobile-friendly update will impact web page search rankings based on accessibility and usability on mobile devices.
- The change affects only search ranking on mobile devices.
- The update applies to individual pages, not entire websites.
What makes a website mobile-friendly?
According to Google’s blog, the following basic criteria will be used to determine “mobile friendliness” in search results:
- Websites that avoid software that is not common on mobile devices – like Flash.
- Websites that use text that is readable without zooming.
- Websites that size content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom.
- Websites that place links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped.
Is my website mobile-friendly?
If your website features responsive design or adaptive design, or has been configured specifically for use on mobile devices, it may not be affected by the new search algorithm. Older, more “static” websites, however, will likely suffer a loss of ranking under the new search rules.
To determine if your website is mobile-friendly, simply paste your URL into Google’s quick and easy mobile-friendly test.
How can I optimize my website for mobile?
Google recommends responsive web design as the best way to ensure sites remain relevant across all platforms. According to Google’s blog, responsive design:
- Makes it easier for users to share and link to your content with a single URL.
- Helps Google’s algorithms accurately assign indexing properties to the page rather than needing to signal the existence of corresponding desktop/mobile pages.
- Requires less engineering time to maintain multiple pages for the same content.
- Reduces the possibility of the common mistakes that affect mobile sites.
- Requires no redirection for users to have a device-optimized view, which reduces load time.
- Saves resources when Googlebot crawls your site.
In a nutshell –
The new mobile search ranking is an undeniable shakeup of the status quo, but should eventually optimize the search experience for both consumers and businesses. If your website lost rank status on April 21, it can regain that status once it is optimized and becomes mobile-friendly, as Google will reclassify the newly updated site.
If you would like to learn more about how to optimize your website for mobile, fill out the form to the right and let’s chat!