by Holly Czuba
Google rarely gives us explicit information about how they rank websites in their search results. SEOs make educated guesses and experiment and extrapolate from what Google does reveal. We know what works and what doesn’t, but Google never lays out the formula for us.
Google is expanding their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal!
This past Thursday, however, over on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog they posted an article – “Finding more mobile-friendly search results”. In no uncertain terms they’ve written:
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.
Key phrases here –
“…expanding use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.” – We’ve already seen search results on mobile devices show a mobile-friendly note in SERPS. Now, in no uncertain terms, Google says mobile-friendliness will be used as one of the factors to determine if your website shows up in search results.
“…will have a significant impact in our search results.” – If your website is not mobile, you may be in trouble. With more than half all website traffic on a mobile devices, this is good news for users! As we should see more user friendly websites on our mobile devices. But any business who hasn’t re-designed their website in responsive design or implemented a mobile site of some sort, look out!
Don’t know if your website is mobile-friendly?
You have a couple options to figure it out.
1. Pull it up on your own smart phone or tablet! The trick here is to take off your my-website-is-the-greatest-ever hat and look at your website with a critical eye. Is the experience great or do you get frustrated? Can you find the contact information quickly? If you get frustrated you may need an upgrade.
2. Give us a call! We’ll do a quick analysis and show you where there may be room for improvement. And then we’ll get you set up.
3. Test your site with this tool. And then, give us a call. This is Google’s tool. It will analyze your site and give you a report on how mobile your site is. It may not be enough to run this report though. If you’re not sure where to go from there, we can make sure your site does exactly what it needs to do for mobile users!
From the perspective of the end user, all this is good news! It’s horrible when I’m not able to find the information I need when I’m using my tablet or smartphone.