Here’s yet another proof that mobile usage patterns are taking over the Web: Google will now favor mobile-friendly sites with its search algorithm. And if your website still looks insanely wrong on any mobile device — from smartphones to tablets — you’re in for a rude search engine results page awakening.
What’s with the New Algorithm?
Google made the announcement on a Webmaster Central blog, where it basically said mobile-friendly sites will now have a significant impact on how the world’s biggest search engine ranks results. Websites that appear (as well as function) well on any mobile device will have a pretty good chance of improving its ranking.
What this means for your website is that the decision has been made for you: no longer do you have to consider whether it’s a good idea to have a mobile responsive site. Because with Google’s mobile search algorithm, that is now a necessity. If you’re not entirely sure about the mobile-friendliness of your website, the search engine brand provides a guide that tells you where your site fares in terms of mobile search. Developer tools are also provided to help make your site mobile compliant.
It Goes Beyond Mobile-Friendliness
BBC reports that the criteria for the new algorithm include text size, amount of space between links, and how the content fits across mobile devices. Google has also “cleaned up” the way URLs appear on mobile devices, which is meant to make the information easier to read for mobile users.
http://www.helpmywebsite.com/services/websitedevelopment – will now appear as:
HelpMyWebsite > services > websitedevelopment.
Aside from mobile friendliness as a significant ranking signal, Google also adds another change to its algorithm: app content. Information from indexed apps will now become a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. So expect relevant app content to also feature in returned search results.
Why the Change?
The recent change is simply a reflection of the shift in consumer behavior. As more and more people now turn to their mobile devices to surf the Web and do any number of things online, it only makes sense for search engines to adapt to current consumer needs.
With an increasing number of sales coming from mobile devices, and mobile browsing dominating traditional browsing for many retailers, Google’s tweaked algorithm is one way of providing a smooth experience for anyone using any device.
The puzzling fact is that despite the growth of mobile browsing, there are still a lot of websites (both from large and small companies) that do not use responsive design. If your website is unresponsive to mobile devices, you might not only lose more traffic but you could also lose potential profits. I frequently tell our clients that sometimes “the biggest expense for them is the income they are not earning.” With Google’s updated algorithm, that may just become even truer than ever before.
If you need help converting your design to a mobile friendly Responsive Design, our Team at MGR Consulting Group will be glad to assist. Take a look at our MGR Lounge that includes a large variety of not just websites but also other projects designs samples.
Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)