Mobile-Friendly Search Ranking – Google Changes The Game

Google has once again shaken up the “search” world.

Mobile phones already dramatically affect how people access and view your website and emails. Local mobile searches now exceed desktop mobile searches, and the number of people treating their smartphones as their main internet device grows daily.

On April 21st Google Started Using “Mobile-Friendliness” as a key website Ranking Factor

Have you ever tapped on a Google Search result on your mobile phone, only to find yourself looking at a page where the text was too small, the links were tiny, and you had to scroll sideways to see all the content? This usually happens when the website has not been optimized to be viewed on a mobile phone.

This can be a frustrating experience for mobile searchers. Starting April 21st, to make it easier for people to find the information that they’re looking for, Google is adding a “mobile-friendly” label to mobile search results as well as including it in search scoring.

This mobile friendly search ranking is important to you

If your website isn’t what Google defines as “mobile friendly”, your rankings are about to suffer.

Here’s a good explanation about Google Mobile Search Scoring:

http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/blog/morning-edition/2015/03/google-prepares-algorithm-change-that-will-push.html

How does Google judge “Mobile Friendliness”?

According to Google, a page is eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label if it meets the following criteria as detected by Google:
  • 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

What this means specifically is that most of the following “responsive design” characteristics must automatically adjust when your website is viewed on a mobile device:

  1. Hierarchy (order) of things shown
  2. Navigation (selectors and menus)
  3. Fonts and Sizes
  4. Colors
  5. Layout (columns, etc.)
  6. Image Scaling and Size
  7. Padding (spacing left, right, and horizontally)
  8. Visibility: Hiding certain content

Ask yourself two simple questions:

  1. Does your website automatically adjust for correct display on a mobile phone? (Try it and see)
  2. Is Google going to classify your website (and list it in every one of their search results) as “mobile friendly”? (Test it here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/)

If you can’t answer yes to both these questions, you need to take action now.

How to get help

Dealing with someone you know and trust is the key factor to address these issues.  Many companies have lost touch with the people who originally developed their website, or for budgetary reasons have resisted needed website updates.  Now is the time to act.

If your current web developers know how to update your website for mobile friendliness, then they are the first people with whom you should talk.  Chances are, if they haven’t already warned you about the Google update, they may be out of touch.

There are lots of people who will try to sell you partial update services, but few of them understand the whole marketing picture. You need to deal with someone who does.

We have the experience to help you do this effectively, within your budget, and quickly.  You can call on us to do your update properly.  We also have fast alternatives for a new responsive website, if that is a better option for you.

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