In late February, Google announced that starting April 21st, they would be increasing their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal for all searches performed on mobile devices. Well, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter have come and gone, and that day is finally here.
Starting today, a website’s mobile-friendliness will be an important factor in its Google search rankings for all mobile searches. Google says the update will have “a significant impact in our search results.” This algorithm update will occur on a real-time basis, meaning that Google will index any mobile-friendly changes the next time it crawls your site. The sooner you make any necessary updates, the better.
The Importance of the Google Algorithm Update
The algorithm update is important not just for search engine rankings, but also for providing a positive user experience. If a user performing a mobile search lands on your company website, how likely is he or she to stay if your website is not mobile-friendly? This is why user experience is the main driving force behind this algorithm update. Google wants to provide its users with the best and easiest search experience possible, and that means displaying mobile-friendly websites high in its rankings.
With searches on mobile devices expected to surpass those on desktop computers in 2015, providing a mobile-friendly user experience is now more important than ever. One of the most prominent parts of mobile searches is local search, which is why this algorithm update will have a significant impact on local businesses. When users perform mobile searches (and grant Google permission to access their locations), Google displays local businesses in the area that match the search queries. If your website is not mobile friendly, you may be missing out on potential customers who are a short walk away because they never saw your website as they searched on their mobile devices.
How Can I Tell if My Website is Mobile-Friendly?
In order to test the mobile-friendliness of your website, Google has a simple tool where you enter the URL and Google will tell you whether or not it passes their mobile-friendly test. If you do not pass the test, you will be given a list of reasons why your website does not meet their mobile-friendliness standards.
What Should I Do If My Website Is Not Mobile-Friendly?
If you do need to make updates to your website, Google offers guides for making changes yourself as well as selecting and working with a website developer. Be sure to check out their guide for mobile SEO for best practices when it comes to configuring your website across multiple devices.
If you have any additional questions or need help getting your website all set for the Google algorithm update, don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation. Our website design experts specialize in responsive design.
What are your primary concerns when it comes to mobile-friendliness? If you’ve attempted to implement a mobile-friendly website, what are some of the challenges you’ve faced? Share your thoughts in the comments below.