Google’s New Mobile-Friendly Algorithm:
Google’s search algorithms change more rapidly than many people outside the SEO world understand – nearly 600 unannounced updates were made in 2014 alone. So when Google announced their newest algorithm change in advance about mobile ready websites, it turned heads throughout the entire web design industry.
Google made this statement on February 26:
“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.”
What does this mean for your website? It’s simple: If your site isn’t already optimized for mobile devices, then it’s time to turn to Responsive Design, and fast.
Does Your Website Pass The Test, Is It Mobile Ready?
One important element of this update is that your website is either mobile-friendly or it’s not; there is no gray area. The best way to determine where your website falls on this spectrum is by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. It’ll tell you if your site passes or fails and give you a short list of reasons for the result.
The reasons for failing vary from simple (the text being too small) to complex (problems with the mobile viewport meta tag). Either way, you’ll want to get any issues with your site fixed immediately in order to smoothly make the transition to mobile-friendly.
What Does This Really Mean?
Simply put, this new update expands upon how Google uses mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. The more mobile-friendly your website is after April 21, the higher it will appear in Google search rankings for searches made on mobile devices.
Consider that over 60% of Google searches originate on a mobile device. Does any of your website’s traffic come from mobile users? If so, it’s crucial that you utilize responsive web design or mobile web design to ensure that your website is ready to thrive in this new online world.