Google has announced that it will be using mobile-friendly factors in its search results starting from April 21st this year (2015). This comes on the back of a recent decision by Google to label websites as mobile-friendly or not. According to Google, they will be “expanding their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal“. They have stated that the change will significantly impact their search results and is set to affect mobile searches in all languages around the world.
This news should come as no great surprise as mobile search is set to outgrow desktop search very soon and Google wants to deliver the best search experience for its users. Faster and more responsive sites will be rewarded with better visibility in Google Search Results in comparison with sites which are less mobile-friendly.
Should all website owners and publishers be worried?
Well there’s no need to panic just yet. And here’s 3 reasons why.
- This only affects mobile search results at the moment. Desktop search results remain unaffected.
- This is only one ranking signal, one of over 200 that can influence Google rankings.
- It depends on your website content and your audience. Some sites have a much bigger mobile audience than others. For example, e-commerce sites serving local markets are much more likely to be affected since a lot of their visitors will be from mobile users.
But regardless of your own business, the move to mobile is unstoppable and its something that will affect you sooner rather than later. So what next for your business? You need to check if your website is mobile-friendly, and if not, make some changes. As I write, you have 7 weeks to make some changes before the new algorithm change comes into effect.
Mobile-friendly website test
Is your website considered mobile-friendly? Google already has a quick online tool you can use to check this. Just plug in your website URL and view the report. If you get a pass, great. But if you don’t pass, Google will provide some detail in terms of errors and problems found. Even better, Google provides some guidance for you or your site developers for addressing any issues discovered. This covers every kind of website and CMS (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc) so whatever your situation you should be able to make some changes that will improve your site’s performance on mobile..