Google Algorithm Change: website owners should consider mobile.
Recently, Google basically sent a shot across everyone’s bow for mobile-friendly adoption, and it’s going to have an impact on organic search results, just as their recent major algorithm updates, including “Penguin” and “Panda.”
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”
In a 2014 survey on Internet Trends, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers revealed that mobile now accounts for 25 percent of all Web usage, up from 14 percent a year ago. Many website owners have seen mobile usage surge to as much as 50 percent of all traffic in 2015.
From Google’s Webmaster Central Blog:
When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns. In the past, we’ve made updates to ensure a site is configured properly and viewable on modern devices. We’ve made it easier for users to find mobile-friendly web pages and we’ve introduced App Indexing to surface useful content from apps. Today, we’re announcing two important changes to help users discover more mobile-friendly content:
1. More mobile-friendly websites in search results
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high-quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
To get help with making a mobile-friendly site, check out our guide to mobile-friendly sites. If you’re a webmaster, you can get ready for this change by using the following tools to see how Googlebot views your pages:
- If you want to test a few pages, you can use the Mobile-Friendly Test.
- If you have a site, you can use your Webmaster Tools account to get a full list of mobile usability issues across your site using the Mobile Usability Report.
2. More relevant app content in search results
Starting today, we will begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, we may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search. To find out how to implement App Indexing, which allows us to surface this information in search results, have a look at our step-by-step guide on the developer site.
For the full article, click here.
What Google is telling us is that mobile-friendly and mobile-responsive websites will be rewarded with better positioning in Google’s mobile search engine results, and thus more traffic from a rapidly expanding user base. Conversely, websites that are not mobile friendly will see less mobile organic traffic, receive a smaller piece of the expanding mobile pie, and will be forced to rely on a shrinking desktop-based audience.
Website owners don’t have an option, they have an order: Go mobile.
Besides the obvious, there are other benefits in having a responsive website. Create better user experiences where visitors spend more time on your site which can turn into higher conversions. The cost of going responsive would, in most cases, be a small price to pay to expose your brand to a large (and ever-growing) mobile audience.