Almost two weeks after the global roll-out of Google’s new algorithm for mobile-friendly websites, a lot of questions are being asked by site owners and web developers. Specifically, those questions are how the mobile-friendly algorithm has affected their sites, if any, and if it has affected desktop search results.
As a backgrounder, it should be recalled that last February of this year Google formally announced the roll-out of a new algorithmic update regarding mobile-friendly sites which will boost the rankings of mobile-friendly pages and in more than ways, penalize those that are not on 4/21/2015.
An interesting question would be, “How did the giant search engine company came up with that?” or simply put, why the need to be mobile-friendly?
According to ComScore, “as much as 60% of Google searches are generated by mobile search users.” As what we have earlier posted (which you can view here), there is a rapid and steady growth of mobile users world-wide.
This speedy shift to mobile has affected all businesses including Google; such shift cannot be ignored by site owners or anyone else (I mean if Google takes it seriously, why would you not?). Mobile searcher is projected to exponentially increase and maintain course as more and more users make their online searches from mobile devices. Now, more than ever, visibility in mobile search engine results pages (SERPs) is very important that site owners must maintain an evolving mobile strategy to communicate to target consumers.
The above infographic from Visualistan gives a graphical view of mobile web usage and other intimate details outlining mobile users’ behaviours and how users value their mobile devices.
Google, in the introduction of the new algorithmic change, focuses on adapting their core services to current demographic and technological trends, and businesses that follow suit will find their websites largely unaffected and largely benefit from algorithmic shifts such as the mobile friendly update.
Continually adapting to technological trends basically means prioritizing user experience and by this it means creating sites that are easily accessible to target consumer through all devices — more specifically mobile device users.
While it is true that not every website may be affected by Mobilegeddon, users may benefit from a website optimized to cater to mobile devices and every site can benefit by improving click-through rate (CTR). In this sense, Google’s mobile friendly update represents a significant opportunity for online businesses to evolve their mobile strategies.
5 Basic Facts on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm
Google’s mobile-friendly algorithmic update will potentially give a ranking boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results. Below are basic facts that site owners and web managers should know regarding Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm.
- Desktop and/or tablet ranking of websites will not be affected by the mobile-friendly algorithmic update. What will be affected, as pointed out by Google, are searches from mobile devices. This will be felt across all languages and locations (which means worldwide).
- Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm will affect (and reflect) mobile ranking on the page-level (meaning page by page) and not site-level. For example, if your site have fifteen pages and ten of your site’s pages are mobile-friendly, only the ten mobile-friendly pages can be positively impacted by the mobile-friendly algorithm. So even if only some of your web pages are mobile-friendly, these pages will benefit from this algorithm.
- You can know (and Google will help you know) if your site is mobile-friendly. Each of your site’s pages can be tested individuality for “mobile-friendliness” using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
- There are sites that are still not mobile-friendly or would only be mobile-friendly after April 21; should that be the case in your website, there are two ways your site can be considered mobile-friendly in ranking. One is to just wait for Googlebot for mobile devices to naturally crawl (re-crawl is actually the correct term) and index your site’s pages. Second, to speed-up the processing, you can use Fetch as Google with Submit to Index in Google’s Webmaster Tools. For large volume URLs, you may want to submit your site’s sitemap. For mobile content sitemap that uses prior existing URLs, such as with Responsive Web Design or dynamic serving, you need to include the lastmod tag.
- Remember, Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm has just rolled-out world-wide, and it would take some time before your site feels its impact on mobile search results ranking. Google said that it’ll take a week or so before it makes its way to all pages in the index. Which means if you’re site isn’t mobile-friendly and you haven’t seen any changes on your ranking, it’s not time to celebrate, in due time your site will see the impact of Google’s mobile-friendly algorithmic change.
Still have questions regarding the April 21st 2015 mobile-friendly algorithmic change? Your answers might just be here.
Don’t Just React; Act NOW
Instead of finding yourself frantically reacting, seize Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm as an opportunity to ride the rising tide of mobile users. Adapting and adopting Google’s innovations means anticipating future user trends and creating sites that meet user expectations.
Site owners need to keep on improving for the increasingly mobile searchers. If you’re not yet mobile-friendly, adapt and act now. Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm should not be your excuse of not adapting; on the contrary, it should encourage you to go mobile. Given today’s rapidly increasing mobile searchers and mobile-friendly sites, it’s no longer possible to ignore competition.