New Google Algorithm Favors Mobile-Friendly Sites

Have you heard about Google’s big Algorithm Update? They’re giving more exposure in mobile searches to websites that are optimized for mobile devices. If you’ve not yet optimized your website for smart phones, here’s why you should give it some serious thought:

Without a mobile-friendly website, consumers searching for you on their phone won’t find you easily in Google.

After April 21, when Google rolled out its new mobile-friendly algorithm, sites that aren’t mobile-friendly now rank lower in search results than if they were mobile optimized.  This means your site could lose a significant amount of free (organic) site traffic from this major update.

This change makes sense when you realize that Google works diligently to only display websites that are helpful to their searchers. They take into consideration, in addition to relevancy, sites that are mobile-friendly: those with large text, easy-to-click links, or that are responsive in design.

While Google hasn’t disclosed the percentage of sites that will be affected, the company says that this update is based on the fact that more than 50% of searches are now carried out on mobile devices. That number is likely to grow as mobile penetration increases across the globe.

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. 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.”--- Google Webmaster Central Blog, February 2015

How Can You Tell If Your Site Is Mobile-Friendly? Here’s what to look for:

  • If a person is viewing your site on a mobile device, is the site functional?
  • Is your navigation simple and are buttons easy to click (even for those with fat fingers)?
  • Can you read information without having to pinch to zoom in on the screen? 
  • Does your site avoid software that is uncommon on mobile devices, like Flash?

If you are still not sure whether your website is optimized for the new algorithm changes, Google has released a Mobile Friendly Test Tool that can help you to determine if your website is ready for the upcoming changes. Keep in mind that this tool evaluates your site on a page-by-page basis though, rather than your website as a whole.

One last way to check to see if you’re in Google’s good graces for mobile search is to look up your website on your mobile device. Google has now added “mobile-friendly” labels to Google search engine results pages (SERPs). The purpose is to help users identify which sites give the best mobile user experience.  If you see this designation next to your site, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

If you find that your site isn’t mobile-friendly, we can help you to understand your options. We’ll make sure your website doesn’t get left behind!