Google Ranking Algorithm to Favour Mobile-Friendly Sites
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The upcoming change has been nicknamed “the SEO-pocalypse” or “mobilegeddon.” Is your site prepared for it?
From April 21, Google will use mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor for search results on mobile devices. The change is intended to provide mobile users with higher quality search results, which take into account whether sites are optimised for mobile devices.
Although the change will only affect users searching on mobile devices, Google says that it will have a “significant impact” on search results. With mobile users accounting for roughly 30% of all internet traffic, this means that sites which don't comply with mobile-friendliness standards may lose a significant amount of traffic as a result. Sounds a little worrying, doesn't it?
Most will have already recognised that catering to mobile users has become essential. The upcoming changes to Google's ranking algorithm underscore this fact. While having a mobile-optimised site might once have been considered optional, this is no longer the case. Even a custom-designed mobile app should be viewed as complementary to a mobile-optimised website, rather than a true alternative.
Are you wondering whether your site is mobile-friendly compliant? Fortunately, there's an easy way to find out. Google has released an easy-to-use mobile-friendly test tool, which can be found here. The tool will indicate whether a page meets Google's mobile-friendliness standards, and summarise any issues it detects. Google has also released a comprehensive developer guide to mobile-friendly websites, which can be viewed here.
If you haven't yet made mobile-friendliness a priority for your website, now is a good time to do so. We've written before about the advantages of responsive design, and how it can meet your mobile-friendliness needs. This may be something worth considering between now and April 21. After all, who wants to fall victim to "mobilegeddon"?