These days, you can’t assume that all Internet users are sitting at a desk and looking at a desktop monitor. They might be wandering the aisles of a grocery store, sitting in a dentist’s waiting room, or preparing to board a plane. In fact, eighty percent of Internet users own a smart phone (source). To accommodate these on-the-go users, who grow in number every day, webmasters create mobile-friendly websites. But now, Google has announced that it wants to make mobile-friendly content even friendlier. Starting on April 21, Google’s algorithm will change, expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal to improve the search engine experience for mobile users. Let’s learn a bit more about the upcoming Google mobile algorithm update . . .
Google Mobile Algorithm Update
WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN
Beginning on April 21, Google will expand its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This will help mobile Internet users find high-quality websites that are relevant to their queries and responsive to their devices.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT
Google described this upcoming change to its algorithm as globally significant. Here’s why:
- It will improve the quality of search results for mobile users
- Websites that are not mobile-friendly will see less traffic to their website from mobile search results
- Websites that are mobile-friendly will either not be impacted OR will see more traffic to their website from mobile search results as some of their competitors are pushed further down the list
It’s notable that Google announced this shift two months ahead of time. They’re giving sites time to prepare, so that no one is caught in an unexpected ranking slump.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
Make your website mobile-friendly! Not only will your site’s users be grateful, but Google will reward you with a higher ranking. To be frank, your website should have already been mobile-friendly, but if it wasn’t, this announcement should be just the kick in the butt you need! Check out these resources for help:
- If you need help making your website mobile-friendly, check out Google’s guide.
- To test your website’s mobile status, use this handy test.
- To learn about any mobility issues on your site, use the Mobile Usability Report within your Webmaster Tools.
WHY THERE’S NO NEED TO GET HYSTERICAL
Although you might be tempted to freak out at this breaking news, there’s really no reason to panic. First of all, since Google announced the change relatively early, you still have time to make your website mobile-friendly. Plus, during an SEO panel, Gary Illyes, a Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, assured webmasters that the algorithm runs in real-time. So as soon as you make the changes (which you can do at any time), Google should notice when it next crawls your site and you will benefit from the algorithm shift.
Additionally, the algorithm will run on a page-by-page basis, not a site-by-site basis. So if a few of your pages aren’t mobile-friendly, they won’t hurt the pages that are. This also means that if you don’t have time to make your entire site mobile-friendly by April 21 (or there are pages that you never plan to make mobile-friendly), no worries! Work on the pages that matter most, if need be, and they will reap the benefits.
There truly is no better time to make your website mobile-friendly. Although the Google mobile algorithm update will significantly impact mobile search results beginning April 21 (just a month from now!), there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to ride the wave of this algorithm change instead of letting it crash over you.
Do you need help making your website mobile-friendly? We are 417 Marketing, an online marketing company based in Springfield, Missouri, that specializes in SEO (search engine optimization) and mobile-friendly web design. Click here to contact us.