New Mobile-Friendly Google Algorithm Update, Ignore At Your Own Risk!

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Google recently made an announcement addressed to all webmasters.

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.”

What this means.

Google use various ‘ranking factors’ to determine the order in which websites show up in search results. There are commonly thought to be 200+ ranking factors including:

  • Website content/keyword usage
  • Site structure & speed
  • Number & quality of inbound links

Next month mobile-friendliness will have a larger effect on mobile search rank. We can deduce that a non-mobile-friendly website will likely move down the rankings.

Google have said they’re looking to “help users discover more mobile-friendly content

  1. More mobile-friendly websites in search results
  2. More relevant app content in search results

How to tell if your website is mobile-friendly.

Google have created a simple tool where you can test your website. https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

Mobile-Friendly Test example - spark.co.nz

After entering your website url the test outputs whether or not your website is considered mobile-friendly.

If your website isn’t considered mobile friendly, the test gives some reasons why. Google have also provided some guidelines on what makes a mobile-friendly website here.

https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/get-started/

Will this affect you?

If your website is mobile-friendly and you have competitors which aren’t, it’s possible your rankings will increase. An increase in rankings could mean more organic search traffic. Conversely if your website isn’t mobile friendly your rankings may drop.

Use our dashboard

To help you understand how reliant your business is on mobile & tablet traffic, we at Search Republic have designed and built a Google Analytics dashboard template (link below) to help you answer the key questions below:

  • How many of the visitors on your website are browsing on mobile or tablet devices?
  • How much of this traffic comes from organic search?
  • Does this tend to be new or repeat visits?
  • How valuable is this traffic to your business?
Mobile Traffic Insight - SearchRepublic (Dashboard example)

https://www.google.com/analytics/web/template?uid=UglOD0xJRryRgPeFlG_VDQ

(Click on the link, sign into Google Analytics and select the profile you wish to use.)

Wider implications of this mobile-friendly algorithm update.

Going forward we can expect more websites to utilise mobile-friendly design.

The fact that Google are placing more emphasis on mobile-friendliness is not unexpected. It’s common knowledge that smartphone usage over the last few years has rocketed up. We’ve seen the cost of mobile data decrease and mobile phone technology improve. With these changes more and more people are browsing websites on mobile devices. It makes sense that Google wants to stay on top of these user trends. Just last year Google started using the label ’mobile-friendly’ in mobile search results.

By publicly announcing this algorithm update Google are trying to make websites change. Essentially requiring websites to utilise mobile-friendly design, or risk losing rankings in the Search results pages thus reducing organic traffic.

About us and this blog

We are a digital marketing company with a focus on helping our customers achieve great results across several key areas.

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We offer professional SEO services that help websites increase their organic search score drastically in order to compete for the highest rankings even when it comes to highly competitive keywords.

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