As of April 21, Google announced that the mobile-friendliness of websites would have a greater impact on search engine rankings. While many speculated that this algorithm would have little effect, a quick look at the changes in search rankings over the last few months shows just how important it is to optimise your website for mobile devices.
In November 2014, Google’s plans to boost mobile optimised websites became apparent with the introduction of the ‘mobile-friendly’ tag.
If you use Google on a mobile device, this tag will appear next to websites that meet GoogleBot’s ‘mobile-friendly’ criteria (i.e. the website adjusts to the device’s screen size, has readable text and doesn’t use Flash or other mobile-complex software). Now pushing further with this mobile-oriented movement, Google’s new algorithm causes a website’s mobile-friendliness to impact search rankings.
Long story short: if your website isn’t doesn’t appease GoogleBot’s criteria, it’s less likely to rank highly in a mobile Google search (and vice versa).
A study conducted by Stone Temple Consulting revealed that nearly 50% of non-mobile-friendly URLS dropped in Google rankings after the Mobilegeddon algorithm was implemented, while mobile-friendly pages saw a 30% increase in rankings. This went mostly unnoticed due to a slow roll-out period for the algorithm, but now these ranking changes are very clear.
Glenn Gabe at G-Squared Interactive conducted an interesting research project to show the different rankings mobile and desktop websites held following Mobilegeddon. While some desktop websites celebrated high search results, if their website wasn’t optimised, their ranking dropped significantly on mobile devices.
With the unavoidable rise of mobile devices, the obvious step forward is to ensure your website is developed accordingly. Having a website that’s not made for mobile can minimise exposure and negatively impact your business. Luckily, Google’s intentions are not as dark and scary as these statistics may seem – they’ve provided some handy tools to assess your website’s mobile-responsiveness.
These days, everything from Facebook to fitness is available on a mobile device, so it’s important to make sure your website joins the club. If you’re not mobile-friendly, no worries. Get in touch with The Web Company – we can help your website out with a free consultation.