So, true to form Google can’t stop fiddling with their ranking process. All hail the ‘mobile friendliness’ algorithm.
This is one of the biggest changes to the Google algorithm in a while so take it seriously. Since the 21st April a site’s “mobile friendliness” will now play a key role in the way it is ranked and sites that are not mobile optimised will appear lower down on Google’s search pages.
With mobile search growing at 10x the rate of desktop, businesses that don’t have a mobile ready site, stand to lose up to a 33% of their traffic. That could be bye bye to a lot of business and possibly bye bye to some business’s for good! According to stats more than half of the websites in the world are not considered mobile friendly! So this is set to have a big impact.
How will this work?
The algorithm will scan each page on the site, checking for responsive design elements and mobile elements. Currently tablets won’t be affected but this is set to change later in the year.
The main things to bear in mind are using text sizes that are readable without zooming, content that fits the screen so scrolling and zooming aren’t necessary and spacing links so tapping the right one isn’t tough for users. Flash is going to be a big no-no – it’s not supported on mobile devices and Google will be holding it against sites that use it.
If you want to know if you’re affected – use Googles online mobile friendly tool. https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
What can you do?
Google will also be taking into account the usability of a site – so how many clicks it takes to perform a particular task – meaning that avoiding convoluted processes for making purchases or bookings should help boost mobile SEO.
In the long term however, responsive web design and having a site that adapts easily to a mobile or tablet environment will be essential.
It’s not all bad…
If you’re a business that has already invested in a responsive design you’ll benefit from improved mobile SEO over competitors that are lagging behind.
However, it would benefit all businesses to get up to speed with mobile and make sure their sites deliver a positive consumer experience. Consumers will abandon your site if they are struggling to look at your products, make purchases or contact you!
Mobile search is increasing rapidly so the opportunity being offered to businesses is huge. Google’s algorithm will make it even more competitive so it’s worth making the changes before your business is affected.
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