Google has been warning us about making our websites mobile-friendly for the last several years. Now, they’re getting serious. Starting April 21st 2015, Google will make mobile-friendliness a factor in search engine rankings. This means that sites that are mobile-friendly will get a boost in rankings over those that do not. This algorithm update will affect websites worldwide, in all languages. And according to Google, it “will have a significant impact in our search results.” Just to be clear, this update will only affect search results on smart phones only. Desktop and tablet search results will not be affected.
So what makes a Website Mobile-Friendly?
Well, without going into technical details, it simply means to code a website in such a way that when a mobile device is detected, the design and layout of the website automatically reformat to provide the best user experience for the customer. This is called Responsive design.
Have you ever visited a website on your phone and you can only see the corner edge of the website? This usually means that the site has not been coded to be mobile-friendly. On mobile-friendly sites, you can usually see the full width of the page on your phone or tablet screen, and all you have to do is scroll vertically.
How much weight will this factor carry?
Like the other 200+ factors that go into Google’s search algorithm, this factor will be given a certain weight. Generally, the more important a factor is, the more weight it is given. My guess is this factor will start off light and maybe increase over time. With mobile devices becoming a bigger influence in the world, I can see why Google would make this a factor. And, as more people use mobile devices to shop and look for information on the Internet, websites that are Responsive will be given preference over sites that are not mobile-friendly.
Check to See if Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
If you are not Internet or tech savvy, you may not even know if your website is mobile-friendly. If you have built your website recently using some sort of Content Management System like WordPress, your site may already be mobile-friendly. If you hired a web designer to create a website for you, ask them if the site is mobile-friendly or test it yourself. If it is not, then make sure to update your site before the 21st of this month.
- Check to see if your website is mobile-friendly.
- Google’s guide to mobile-friendly sites (for developers).
The mobile market has been growing worldwide and it continues to grow. With so many people using mobile devices, your business can’t afford not to go mobile-friendly.