Google regularly updates its algorithm in order to improve the relevancy of user search results. This ensures that the sites returned are what the person is looking for, as well as recent sources. However, on April 21, Google released a new search algorithm that will favor “mobile-friendly” websites in mobile Google searches. Sites that have earned the mobile-friendly badge will rank higher in Google’s mobile search results from now on. This is definitely supportive of users on mobile devices, but it may have impacts on site owners that haven’t yet modernized to a mobile-friendly web presence.
What Does it Mean to Be Mobile-Friendly?
For a website to be considered mobile-friendly, it must be just as easy for a user to navigate on a mobile device as on a desktop. It must also meet the following criteria as detected by Googlebot:
- Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
- Uses text that is readable without zooming
- Sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
- Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped
(Source: Google’s Webmaster Central Blog)
What These Changes Mean for Your Business
According to Google, “94% of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones. Interestingly, 77% of mobile searches occur at home or at work, places where desktop computers are likely to be present.” This means that mobile searches are extremely prevalent and if your site isn’t mobile-friendly it could severely impact your ranking on Google, making it harder for your potential audience to find you. This will affect not only your web traffic, but more importantly your bottom line. It is because of this that many IT blogs and news websites are referring to this algorithm change as “Mobilgeddon.”
How to Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
First and foremost, you can take Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to find out if your website has a mobile-friendly design. If you want to go deeper, you should talk with a developer with mobile experience to assess your site and determine what can be done to ensure it meets the Google Mobile-friendly criteria listed above, at a minimum. A development company can also do a usability assessment of your site to not only make sure it is mobile-friendly, but to ensure that your mobile visitors have equal access to all of the functionality and information ofyour website, including mobile optimized navigation, images, and page designs.
Segue provides full-service Website and Web Application development – from business process analysis to solution implementation and maintenance. We create attractive, modern, and easy to use interfaces that are mobile-friendly and tailored to our customers’ requirements. To find out more check out our Web Services page.
For more tips on surviving “Mobilegeddon” check out Search Engine Land’s Mobilegeddon Checklist: How To Prepare For This Week’s Google Mobile Friendly Update