05.26.16

Google Doubles Down on Mobile Friendly Web Content

Google recently announced it has increased the importance of mobile friendliness when considering how sites rank in its search results. The company added mobile responsiveness as a ranking signal in its search last year and is clearly pleased with the quality of results it is providing to its very mobile user base.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Last year, Google changed the search engine world when it added mobile friendliness (or responsiveness) as a criteria in its ranking algorithm. This was heralded by those of us in the website developing world as MOBILEGEDDON (dramatic, much?) because it meant that Google started ranking sites that were not responsive lower in its search results.

In March of this year, Google announced that it was integrating this change even further starting this month and then its Webmaster Trends Analyst (yes, that’s real job) tweeted on May 12 that these changes had been fully incorporated into the search engine.

WAIT, WHAT?

Basically Google keeps making it harder for sites that aren’t mobile responsive to be ranked highly in its search results.

WHY?

Almost no one uses desktop search anymore. Last year, Google announced that users were officially doing more searches on mobile devices than on desktops. Google’s No. 1 philosophy is “Focus on the user and all else will follow.” So, when the user went to mobile, Google followed.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

Google is reaffirming what we already knew – that it is giving precedence to mobile-friendly websites. While the company has tweaked its search and ranking algorithm over the years, the Mobilegeddon update last year was by far the most significant.

If your website isn’t responsive, it isn’t just going to look bad on a phone, it is going to drop way down the results list in a Google search. (When’s the last time you looked past page 2?) If your company is spending money on search engine marketing or search engine optimization for a site that isn’t mobile friendly, it is wasting its money. And, not to scare you, but if Google keeps down this path, eventually sites that aren’t mobile-friendly could effectively be dropped from the search engine.

HOW CONCERNED SHOULD I BE?

If your site is mobile friendly, you will literally see no change in how your site ranks in search because of the change. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, you should be very concerned. As in, 11 on a scale of 1-10 concerned. Your site likely will start ranking poorly in searches, which isn’t good – especially if you are in a competitive industry or space.

WHAT SHOULD I DO NEXT?

Holy moly is right. To make sure your site is mobile friendly, visit Google’s updated Mobile Friendly Testing Tool, which it rolled out mid-May to help webmasters improve their sites’ responsiveness.

If it isn’t, well, head to google to connect with the best web developers and designers. (Okay, fine, you could just email us.) A professional developer can take a look at your site to determine what changes need to be made to ensure that your site renders correctly on mobile devices.

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