With mobile search predicted to surpass desktop in 2015, having a mobile-friendly website is more important than ever.
And starting April 21, 2015, Google will be “expanding” their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal for mobile searches. In other words, if you don’t have a mobile or responsive website yet, you may find it more difficult to rank in mobile search results after April 21.
Google also explained that the mobile algorithm is on a page-by-page basis and runs in real-time, which is good news for some webmasters. In other words, if 10 pages on your website are mobile-friendly and 10 are not, the 10 that are mobile-friendly will benefit in mobile searches, while the others will not.
How big will the impact of the Google Mobile Algorithm be?
SEL reported that Zineb Ait Bahajji from Google’s Webmaster Trends team was quoted at SMX Munic saying that the mobile algorithm change will have more of an impact on Google’s search results than the Panda and Penguin updates did.
If a significant portion of your traffic is currently mobile, but your site isn’t mobile-optimized, you may be at risk of losing that traffic.
How much of your current website traffic is mobile? If you have Google Analytics, you can determine this in the Audience > Mobile > Overview report. In the example below, mobile makes up approximately 11% of our overall traffic.
In this announcement Google also revealed they will start displaying and ranking content from indexed Android apps for searchers who:
- Are signed in to Google
- Have the Android app on their mobile device
This update is the next step in Google’s efforts to improve the mobile web experience and encourage webmasters to create or improve their mobile website user experience. Last November, Google announced their mobile-friendly label and test. You may have noticed over the past couple of months that a new label (pictured below) appears next to eligible website for searches performed on a mobile phone.
Google Mobile-Friendly Test
If you want to test your website, be sure to use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test. If you have a Webmaster account, you can also check out the Mobile Usability report to help you identify an issues.
Google Announces Common Mobile Website Mistakes
Last week, Google solicited advice from the webmaster community on Twitter regarding common mobile mistakes. With the April 21 deadline looming, Google has compiled a list of the most common mistakes:
- Unplayable content
- Faulty redirects
- Mobile-only 404s
- App download interstitials
- Irrelevant cross-links
- Slow mobile pages
Do you need a mobile or responsive website?
Modern Marketing Partners can help you! Whether you are looking for a brand new responsive website, or even retrofitting an existing website, contact us today, or check out our SEO whitepaper for more tips.
Update 4/21/15: Google announced that there has been a “4.7% uptick in the proportion of sites that are mobile friendly” since their Mobile-Friendly deadline announcement two months ago.