As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, Google is adapting its algorithms to these usage patterns. The most significant change is the upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm. From April 21, the search engine giant will count mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. The announcement came this February along with the declaration of using information from indexed apps as a ranking factor for signed-in users who have installed the app. Letâ€™s see how this change will increase the need for mobile optimization.
According to Googleâ€™s official blog post, the upcoming changes in April will affect mobile searches in all languages across the world and will significantly impact search results. It will be easier for users to get relevant and high quality search results optimized for their devices. Donâ€™t reach the hasty conclusion that this will impact your desktop searches and that having a mobile website will boost your ranking. This is not going to work that way.
In a Google+ Hangout video chat, Google officials made it clear that the algorithm works by page-by-page, real-time analysis and it has nothing to do with desktop searches. If your site has all those factors that lead mobile users to the content that is usable such as defined viewing area that adjusts to the deviceâ€™s screen size, scannable content, fonts that scale for easier reading in any screen, easy-to-touch elements (for example, buttons) and visual design and motion appealing to mobile devices and mobile-friendly, then your site can benefit from the ranking change. There are over 200 different factors that determine ranking. So the other factors will also count. Thus, mobile optimization will have more relevance after the new change, while it should be focused on providing a great user experience.
Tips for Making Your Site Mobile-Friendly
Google recommends the following to make a mobile-friendly site and get ready for the change.
- Find out whether your web pages are mobile-friendly and resolve the issues, if any. You can use Mobile-Friendly Test to test a few pages. If you want to test the entire site, sign into your Webmaster Tools account and get a full list of mobile usability issues within your site using the Mobile Usability Report.
- Design a site that is mobile-friendly using third party software including WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal and Blogger.
- Make a site mobile-friendly and focus on the technical details.
- Get support from a reliable SEO company to make your site mobile-friendly.