Do you have a mobile or responsive site?
If not, from April 21 you may find it harder to rank in Google’s mobile search results. Google announced algorithm updates that will have a “significant impact” on mobile search results worldwide for mobile searchers.
The update improves rankings for sites that provide a mobile-friendly experience to searchers on mobile devices, and, by association, demotes sites that do not. Note that the mobile-friendly update only affects mobile search results — i.e., searches from smartphones and tablets — not searches conducted on a desktop or laptop computer. “Page by page” means that each page’s mobile friendliness is judged separately.
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That’s good news if your e-commerce catalogue is mobile friendly but your forums or other content sections are not. The unfriendly sections will not cause your entire site to be ranked as unfriendly. So, how can I check whether our sites will be affected? Over the past few months, Google has put some effort into informing webmasters about the performance of their mobile websites and alerting them to the issues they may have through different tools including.
1. Mobile usability report – within Google Webmaster Tools, Google now details webpages on your website with errors for mobile users, going into detail, e.g. when buttons are too close to one another. 2. Mobile Friendly Test: Google has provided a mobile-friendly testing tool that analyzes each page that you enter and tells you whether it’s mobile friendly or not (see in the image below)
3. Mobile-friendly snippet – Google starts to signpost mobile-friendly websites in mobile lists next to the meta description. If your site is missing these ‘Mobile-Friendly’ labels you are likely to have a problem.
Remember that a well-optimized mobile website will make it easy for customers to find the information they seek and complete their desired tasks on mobile devices. Just like with SEO, content marketing, and search engines – don’t chase the algorithm but create content for the user. In the case of mobile optimization – don’t chase the green icon but design your site for the mobile user, follow Google best practice, and you will find that being friendly pays off.
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