On April 21, 2015 Google rolled out a new update to their ranking algorithm that will give mobile-friendly sites a boost in their mobile search results. In an announcement on their webmaster blog Google says, “users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” The update will affect mobile searches in all languages and Google has suggested it will have a “significant impact” on search results.
But, why make the change now? Will your website benefit or suffer from the new ranking algorithm? Read on to find out more about the update and how it will affect your business.
Why Change the Ranking Algorithm Now?
The percentage of searches performed from mobile devices has been skyrocketing over the past few years. In most countries desktop searches still have a slight lead, but some analysts have predicted that this may be the year that mobile searches officially take over the market.
With trends going the way they are, some are arguing that Google’s latest update was inevitable. The search engine giant has been encouraging the development of better mobile web experiences for years. For Google, the number one priority has always been creating a better search experience for the user. Their latest ranking algorithm update reflects that, by providing mobile users results that are legible, properly sized and spaced, and fully operational on a variety of devices.
What You Can Do
If you’re unsure whether or not your website is mobile-friendly, you can find out right here by using Google’s own test. You can also use Google’s webmaster tools to find out how to make your entire website more mobile-friendly.
If your website is not currently mobile-friendly, all is not lost. Thankfully, Google is not issuing penalties to websites that don’t embrace the update as they have with others in the past. The new algorithm works in real-time, so any changes you make to your website should be picked up by Google pretty quickly. It also works on a page-by-page basis, so if parts of your website are more mobile-friendly than others they could climb higher in the rankings.
Of course, whether or not a website is mobile-friendly is just one of many ranking signals. The new algorithm will cause more mobile-friendly websites to appear in results; but the intent of the query is one of the most important signals, so websites with high quality content can still rank high in the results, even if they aren’t optimized for mobile devices.
In conclusion, Google’s new ranking algorithm isn’t quite the “mobilegeddon” that some sites suggested it may be. However, it definitely seems that the trend is moving towards a preference for mobile-friendly websites. A good rule of thumb is to try to use your website on your own mobile device and evaluate your experience. What do you want to improve? What’s working?
Of course, if you need a little extra help reaching your full web potential we’re always here to answer your questions.